Khyam Allami

Khyam Allami is a virtuoso oud player, serial collaborator and musical explorer. He performed as part of Reel Iraq 2013 in both London and Edinburgh.

Khyam Allami by Michael Brydon

Khyam Allami is a musician and composer with a formidable and continually growing international reputation. Despite only taking up the oud, his principal instrument, in his twenties, Allami rapidly became a performer of international renown. His remarkably assured 2011 debut solo album Resonance/Dissonance was widely critically praised; he has performed at WOMAD, the BBC Proms and London 2012 Festival, the cultural festival that accompanied the Olympics. He was the first artist to be awarded a BBC Radio 3 World Routes scholarship in 2010.

Energetic and charismatic, Allami has developed numerous and varied performing and recording projects, from working with the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq to founding his own label, Nawa Recordings. His activities straddle many musical worlds. Whether he is playing solo oud (the Middle Eastern lute) or  drumming, there are common themes to be found running through all his work, chiefly the desire to push the boundaries of conventional music-making. As Robin Deneslow observed in The Guardian of his debut album, “Allami may be influenced by traditional Middle Eastern modal systems, but he’s an original.”