About Soap Kills
Soapkills was an indie electro-pop band based in Lebanon. The group was formed in October 1997 when Zeid Hamdan and Yasmin Hamdan, both born in Beirut in 1976 but not related, decided to explore and combine their interest in classical Arabic song and electronic music.
Currently a cult group in Lebanon, Soapkills got inspiration both from classical Arabic song and music and from the new electro scene blossoming in the Middle East. French media have described them as "Trip hop à l'orientale" The band's name was initially that of a song written by Zeid Hamdan, and according to him referred to the reconstruction of Beirut after the Lebanese Civil War: "We thought that at the time, in the context of Beirut being ... you know, reborn, and all the war being wiped clean, we thought, wow, it's shiny and it's awful and it's soap kills. We thought it would be a nice name for a band."] The group's sound was initially dominated by a Roland MC-303 Groovebox, which Zeid Hamdan had acquired to replace musicians after the dissolution of Lombrix, a rock band that he had founded in the mid-1990s with Yasmine Hamdan and others.
The band appears on several compilations, has recorded the albums Bater (2001, for which it was joined by Rabih Mroué and Walid Sadek playing flute and trumpet) and Cheftak (2002), and has performed in Paris, Berlin, Syria, Algeria, Congo, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Sydney. In 2005, Soapkills released their last album to date, entitled Entah Fen. The album features new material as well as remixes of their previous songs. In 2007, the band was mentioned in Time as part of "small but artistically significant rock scene" in Beirut.
Yasmine Hamdan and Zeid Hamdan both started working on solo projects. Zeid went on to form a band called The New Government, while Yasmine, during a Madonna party in Paris, met with the producer Mirwais. Together, they formed the duo Y.A.S. The project places Arabic lyrics at the center of electronic beats, and the album Arabology was released in France in march 2009.
In 2008 there were talks about a Best Of CD, consisting of the Zeid/Yasmine's most popular tracks, but various offers from producers have been rejected. There is no certainty about Soapkills' future, whether the band will reform or if they are completely dissolved is yet to be announced, but Yasmine has stated that Soapkills had been banned from radio and tv airplay and she hopes that Y.A.S won't have the same fate in France.