The National reviews rising star Mayssa Karaa’s concept show, When Music Matters, performed at the conclusion of the Abu Dhabi Festival.

The young Lebanese singer first rose to international fame with her Arabic rendition of Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit, featured on the soundtrack of the film American Hustle.

As Saeed Saeed puts it:

the song was Karaa’s calling card to the world. Her smouldering Arabic delivery for the first half of the song, as it appeared in the film, recalled Nancy Sinatra’s Bang Bang, before she switched to the original English language in a raging delivery that the original singer Grace Slick would surely have approved of.

Ramzi Salti featured Karaa last year among the top 20 alternative Arabic songs on his Arabology blog. Along with working on her album, Karaa has done more than one cover – having also covered songs by Fairouz and Asmahan, and toured with the Berklee World Strings Orchestra, during which she sang the Passion of Rumi.

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