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Boston-based Egyptian Artist: The Journey and What's To Come for Bayou

posted on: Apr 20, 2022

Boston-based Egyptian Artist: The Journey and What's To Come for Bayou

By: Dina Kobeissi / Arab America Contributing Writer

Who is Bayou? 

Adham Bayoumi, who goes by “Bayou,” was born in Jeda, Saudi Arabia but grew up in Dubai for most of his life, returning to Egypt in the summers like many others living as part of the diaspora in the UAE. “I’ve been songwriting since like 2nd grade. My teacher came to class playing guitar and I was fascinated with it. I told him I wanted to do what he just did.”

Bayou left the UAE to attend boarding school in Western Massachusetts, dedicating substantial amounts of time to soccer. He was accepted to Boston University where he currently attends and studies business. Although entering with the intentions of playing D1 soccer, the tearing of his ACL pushed Bayou toward focusing on his music. He eventually released his first single “Moonlight” which currently has almost 1.5 million streams on Spotify.

Boston-based Egyptian Artist: The Journey and What's To Come for Bayou
“Moonlight” Album Cover

The Lyrics 

When asked about the inspiration behind his music, Bayou explained “at first, I was just exploring, but now, everything is a lot more intentional. I want to create Bayou’s world, culture fusions with elements of my upbringing and heritage.” Bayou’s songs draw on his personal narratives as he situates himself in the world around him. An emerging trend among Arab artists especially in the diaspora, Bayou combines languages in his lyrics with Arabic and English fused effortlessly in songs like “King of Cairo.”

Boston-based Egyptian Artist: The Journey and What's To Come for Bayou
“King of Cairo” Album Cover

Bayou aspires to expand his music to include older music, making it more modern and contemporary. “I want something our grandparents would listen to and to even dabble in local scenes happening in the Middle East.”

In addition to his goal of “making Arab and Arab infused music more popular and to transcend borders,” Bayou’s biggest mission is to become a cultural and public figure, with music as a starting point. “I want to inspire everyone but also allow for people to go after what they want.” Many of Bayou’s songs such as “Persian Girl” praise Middle Eastern women. “I want to appreciate them,” an effort which has received positive feedback and resonated with many women from the region who feel the rest of the world often lacks in recognizing Middle Eastern and North African beauty.

Boston-based Egyptian Artist: The Journey and What's To Come for Bayou
“Persian Girl” Album Cover

The Journey

Bayou has been performing at different college Arab societies such as at Duke University. He remarked how amazing it felt to see a crowd singing along with him. “The journey has only really been up and up, really understanding more and improving as an artist.” Bayou has been using different platforms to leverage more listeners and has even collaborated with Saint Levant, a Palestinian/French/Algerian/Serbian artist and activist based in California with over 51k monthly listeners on Spotify

Boston-based Egyptian Artist: The Journey and What's To Come for Bayou

The Future  

With big aspirations, Bayou wants to eventually become a household name. He hopes to get connections within Boston, grow his base, and cover even more in his songs – from masculinity in the Middle East to combating social and cultural issues. One thing is for sure, Bayou is just getting started. Bring on the fusion.

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