At a time when all rappers in the Middle-East were putting out records in English and French, Wael (a.k.a. Rayess Bek) decided to flip the script and rap in Arabic. He adapted Rap music to his background and created his own sound.
His lyrics - always polished, sharp and committed - speak about Lebanon, its crisis, its war, its youth and disillusionment with politics. Rayess Bek, with his band AKS’SER, had their debut at the 'Fete de la Musique' concert summer, 1997 in Beirut - This concert earned them critical acclaim.
AKS’SER released two albums “Ahla Bi Chabeb” in 2000 and “Khartouch” in 2002 on the independent label ChichProd. In 2003, Rayess Bek released his first solo album '3am behkeh bil sokout’ and went on a tour throughout the Middle-East and Europe. In 2004, the band AKS’SER got signed to EMI and released their third album “AKS’SER” in 2005.
Rayess Bek was commissioned by the UN to compose and produce a song for a special program on disability. The song and video, Ekhtilef Tabiyeh (Difference is Normal) was the first media campaign which promoted the acceptance of disability in the Middle East. It was broadcast in over 20 countries in North Africa and the Middle East. Rayess Bek was more recently featured in a PBS documentary “Dissonance and Harmony” produced by Miles Copeland for the series “America at a Crossroad”.
The film captures the process of Wael’s collaboration with Nile Rogers, Rza from the Wu-Tang Clan and Shavo from System of the Down as well as Rayess live performance at the Roxy. In June 2007 Wael completed his Doctorate in Fine Arts in Paris (France), and began work on another campaign for a UN anti-war campaign, with American co-writer and producer Frank Fitzpatrick.
The song/video is titled Just Like You was rolled out throughout the Middle East and North of Africa in 2007. Rayess Bek, was recently crowned Best Rapper of the Year in the Middle East by the Radio Monte Carlo. He is currently working on his next solo album and touring the Middle East. www.rayessbek.com
Yann Pittard is a musician from Bretagne. He has studied oud in Cairo with Hazem Shaheen and Abdu Dagher.
Inspired by music without borders, he has developed some original orchestral techniques & has collaborated extensively with Rayess Bek as well as composing and performing with several bands (Paban das Baul, Ky with Maki Nakano, Noun Ya with Naïssam Jalal...) from Mexico to Tokyo via Cairo & Calcutta.