Melancholic and haunting vocals highlight the song’s infectious melodies and poignant lyricism, alluding to singer Maya’s experiences of life in Beirut where the hedonistic joys of ‘Ya Habibi Yalla’ were juxtaposed with life in the post-war city.
Maya explains,“‘Ya Habibi Yalla’ means 'come on baby' in Arabic and is also the title of a very famous party song by The Gypsy Kings which has played every night in Beirut clubs since the 90s. It's a nod to reminiscing the good old days on the shores of the troubled Levant.”
‘Ya Habibi Yalla’ is the first new material from New Pharaohs in over two years, and follows their previous singles, ‘Nothing Without You’, ‘This Changes Everything’ and ‘Empire’, which have variously garnered acclaim from the likes of Notion, The Guardian, The Line Of Best Fit and Beat Magazine, alongside radio play from Radio 1 and 6Music, and playlist additions from Radio X.
New Pharaohs is the project of Maya Marie, formerly lead singer of electro-pop act Sohodolls, who were signed to Alan McGees’ Poptones label and enjoyed considerable international success. Maya also co-wrote Nicola Roberts’ single ‘Beat Of My Drum’ alongside Grammy nominated Dimitri Tikovoi, which was produced by Diplo, and has also previously co-written songs with the likes of Charli XCX and MNEK.
Now the release of ‘Ya Habibi Yalla’ and the magnificent album Antelias sees Maya – aka New Pharaohs – at her most personal and honest. Channelling the influences of her Lebanese childhood and having had emotions reignited by the recent war in Syria, New Pharaohs infuses musical references as varied as Fleetwood Mac and Lana Del Rey into an intoxicating and unique alt-pop sound.