“Tel-Tamar Echoes Cultural Vibes in Dode‘s Tracks”

dody.jpgFrom the notorious Assyrian Village of Tel-Tamar (its people among the first settlers in Syria, post Simmel Massacre, 1933) comes “Dode,” born David Merza, in his first 9-track CD release titled “Shitranty.”
During my recent trip to Syria, I had the privilege of meeting Dode while visiting the headquarter of the Assyrian Aid Society, which also graciously houses the Assyrian Medical Society (both charitable organizations).
In our discussion, I learned much about this young artist who’s freshly stepping into the music arena, while enchanting his audience to a mixture of Assyrian pop and nationalist sounds, but nonetheless has the ambition to respond beyond his musical calling and has the advantage of being among the most celebrated artists in Syria today.
Albeit having no musical background, Dode has known that he wanted to be a singer since his childhood. His first release, six-months in the making, is owed to the talents of Yousif Esho and Fareed Esho (no relationship), and the dedication of musicians Nabil Oshana (Keyboard), Farid Esho (Solo Guitar), Sargon Pethyou (Base Guitar), Tommy Esho (Drums). My own personal favorite is sixth track “Raweh. . .” Most certainly, he has plans for a second release.
Earlier last year, Dode was spotted in motherland Assyria (Iraq) where he was hosted by the Assyrian Democratic Movement “ZOWAA” during the Assyrian New Year “Akitu” festivities, a trip that has further deepened his quest for the justice of his people, one which he hopes to recapture in the near future.
Among his other memorable delegations has been a series of private performances in neighboring Lebanon.
Artist: David Merza “Dode”
Album: Shitranty
Year: 2010
Studio: DJ AZAD
Genre: Folklore

~ Helen Talia, Chicago
October 2010