Belgian-Egyptian musician Tamino debuts his visual art piece for the new single “The First Disciple.” Past, present and future all coalesce within the confines of an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of Antwerp. In one moment Tamino is seen playing the Arabic oud, surrounded by the gaze of an army of ravers and a decomposing canvas of graffiti-covered walls, in another, he is swallowed by the glitchy lights of the club.
On “The First Disciple” Tamino worked with Belgian producers PJ Maertens and Jo Francken, the song is an evocative slow-burn mood-setter by this supremely gifted artist. It features a long-standing collaborator and friend in Radiohead Colin Greenwood on bass and Ruben Vanhoutte on drums.
Amir heralded the arrival of a musician who despite his young age seemed fully formed and confident in his art. It was a record of great depth and hushed resonance, exquisitely orchestrated and confidently delivered. Media acclaim immediately drew similarities with a young Jeff Buckley, and whilst there’s certainly an intense and emotional fragility to Tamino’s vocal, musically he combines it with orchestral flourishes that pay strong homage to his Egyptian lineage.
That Tamino’s music is in part imbued with the sound of the Middle East should come as little surprise. His grandfather, Muharram Fouad, was one of Egypt’s most celebrated singers and actors, and it was his old guitar that Tamino was gifted as a child and set him on his musical journey. In Europe, Tamino already plays to sell-out audiences in the thousands including one standout show at the 8000 capacity Lotto Arena in Antwerp, a city he has long called home.
“The First Disciple” is a fascinating return by this compelling artist. Despite all the early acclaim, you sense his journey has only just begun.