Alaa Wardi (in Arabic علاء وردي) (born 13 January 1987 in Riyadh) is a Saudi Arabian singer, songwriter, a cappella artist and producer of Iranian origin. He is an online YouTube celebrity in the Arab world and internationally. Wardi released his album Fi Ba7ri in 2015 and Madinat Al Salah in 2016. He has released a number of singles of original ballads and a cappella versions of mainly Middle East pop and pan-Arab hits and English international hits with occasional cover of other hits including notably Bollywood, K-pop hits. He was also part of the Jordan-based pop band Hayajan.
Alaa Wardi studied music and sound engineering in University of Jordan. He lives in Riyadh. He is a musician, composer, singer, songwriter and audio engineer.
His music features a cappella singing, usually with human rhythmic accompaniment, including beatboxing. His music and videos are marketed via the internet on a voluntary contribution basis.
He produced the English language musical video "No Woman, No Drive" in October, 2013 with comedians Hisham Fageeh and Fahad Albutairi as a satirical comment on the Saudi Arabian ban on women drivers. It is sung a capella by Fageeh backed by Wardi and Albutairi to the tune of Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry" and has been popular on YouTube.
In June 2015, Wardi released his album Fi Ba7ri. The lyrics for the album's songs were written by Aziz Maraka, a Jordanian musician.
He became internationally known for his Hindi cover versions of Bollywood hits "Pehla Nasha" and "Jiya Re". He is well known for "Evolution of Arabic Music" (in Arabic تطور الموسيقى العربية read Tatawwor al Musiqa al Arabiyya), with an a capella mash-up of 42 Arabic songs from the 1930s to 2010s. The music video directed by Nina Najjar was released on 26 April 2016 in association with Telfaz11 and Anghami. The video has accumulated more than 12 million views by February 2018. He has collaborated with a great number of other Arab and international artists including Peter Hollens.
In 2011 he formed a band called Hayajan with four Jordanian musicians. Their Arabic language debut album, Ya bay was released in May 2013. It was recorded by Hanna Gargour at Sweetspot Soundworks. The album includes 8 tracks, 6 written by the band members. The other two are cover versions of the Radiohead song "Nude" and Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" with Arabic lyrics.
The band was made up of:
Alaa Wardi - keyboards, acoustic guitar, lead vocals
Odai Shawagfeh - electric guitar
Mohammed Idrei - electric guitar
Amjad Shahrouh - bass
Hakam Abu Soud - drums
He was born to Iranian parents in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His family owns a furniture business in Riyadh.
He married Sinem Güneş in 2015 in Bodrum, Turkey. Wardi's song "Thona2i" is dedicated to his wife and the music video has footage from the marriage ceremony.
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