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Hanni El Khatib On World Cafe

Hanni El Khatib's latest album is <em>Savage Times</em>.
Courtesy of the artist
Hanni El Khatib's latest album is Savage Times.

At this moment in the music industry, the regular model for releasing a record has been pretty much blown apart. Artists can release singles or EPs online at any time, in whatever format. That can have some pretty interesting results, as it did for Hanni El Khatib.

His latest album, Savage Times, is a collection of songs from a series of singles and EPs he put out in bursts in 2016. No waiting until there was a fully-formed album, no long stretches of time working and reworking songs, no processing emotions or covering them up in metaphors — just immediate output. As a result, every song on Savage Times feels urgent and guttural, like a snapshot of raw emotion.

In this session we'll talk about a song called "Born Brown," an emotional rager based on El Khatib's experience growing up as a first-generation American, half Filipino and half Palestinian. He also shares how the horrifying attacks on the Bataclan nightclub in Paris rattled his worldview and showed up in his music. And, of course, he also performs songs off Savage Times, which captures the place where San Francisco skate-punk swagger meets garage blues, where doom meets disco. Hear the complete session in the player above.

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Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.