Imran Ahmad & Camille Maalawy

London, UK

The work

Shams Esh'shamusa (Beautiful Sun)

The song is based on lyrics by famous Egyptian singer and composer Sayed Darwish. Born in 1892, he is said to be a leading voice in revolutionising Arab music and has become an icon symbolising progress and modernity. Almost 100 years on, Imran's British and Arabic cultural influences and Camille's Egyptian-English heritage led them to create an experimental and contemporary frame for what is now considered a 'traditional' song.

Artists' biographies

Imran Ahmad
Imran Ahmad is a British Indian Film Composer and Music Producer from London, UK. His music has been broadcast on UK and international television and commercially released worldwide.

Imran composed the music score to the feature film The Dead - set in West Africa, which screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010 and was theatrically released worldwide in 2011. The film went to no. 1 in the Blu-ray horror charts in the USA in 2012.

He has composed music for several documentaries, notably multi-award winning Mayomi - an intimate portrait of a young woman's struggle in post-tsunami Sri Lanka. Another distinguished documentary he composed music for was Sisters on the Planet by Oxfam - made to raise awareness of climate change in vulnerable communities around the world. It premiered at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, London and subsequently screened around the world including the Governors' Global Climate Summit in Los Angeles.

As a live musician, Imran performs at acoustic music nights and concerts to raise money for charities. He has also hosted music workshops with local community groups aimed to encourage and inspire individuals to participate in the arts.

Twitter @imranahmadmusic

Camille Maalawy - mezzo soprano
Camille Maalawy has achieved notable acclaim for bridging both musical and cultural divides. As the only Arabic singer to reach the final of the first International Competition of Israeli Music outside Israel in July 2008, she broke new ground as she has done consistently throughout her professional career.

Born to an Egyptian father and English mother, Camille studied at Goldsmiths College and Birkbeck College graduating with a BMus (Hons) MMus Degree (Distinction) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Opera Studies. Her repertoire is as extensive as it is diverse, ranging from opera, oratorio and Lieder to embracing both Arabic and Jewish music.

Studying with Ann Hood and Nan Christie, Camille's vocal and musical diversity gained recognition coming second in the final of the Keldwyth Award (2004) whilst also appearing regularly with the Iraqi-Jewish ensemble, Rivers of Babylon performing at Simcha on the Square (2006) as well as creating the role of Lola in Pocket the Clown (Jim Marcovitch) at Battersea Arts Centre (2007)

Her passion for embracing music from many cultures has brought her success and accolades not only as a performer but also as an educator, working with children and young people across a wide range of communities including The Spitalfields Festival, Hemel Hempstead and South Oxhey (Watford). Camille also gives regular concerts as part of the Music in Hospitals and Live Music Now schemes. Her recently released CD Daughter of Arabia draws on her cultural heritage as well as showcasing her vocal talent.

Future engagements will take Camille to Germany to take up the position of Musician in Residence at the Jewish Christian Muslim Conference, as well as the premieres of two new works by Julian Dawes and taking the role of 'Reciter' in Walton's Facade.


Shams Eshshamusa – Beautiful Sun