Martyn Badoui began his musical career the year of the infamous Cronulla riots.

In the volatile racial climate of south Sydney, his deeply personal performances express the difficulties of having both Lebanese and Australian heritage.

Politics aside, at the base of Badoui’s performances is a search for truth and -“ amazing music.

Badoui’s rich racial mix translates into his work. His style is an amalgamation of diverse and seemingly contradictory musical influences. The result is a truly original performance.

There is a gospel-like tendency to my vocals in which I like to improvise and change rhythms and phrases. I also like to experiment with melismas such as quarter tones, which are more arabesque than R&B, he told SSO.

My shows cross the boundaries of cabaret, because it’s all original music written and arranged by me for violin, viola, cello, piano, bass guitar and drums.

I always use strings because they are so emotive and you can use such expressive techniques on them. I also like them because they are melodic instruments, and I can weave many harmonic lines, creating different sound textures from them -“ like Russian gypsy music.

The essence of Badoui’s shows lies in his intimate lyrics where the audience is invited to share pivotal moments in his life.

The show is like an abstract painting of all these amazingly dramatic experiences that I’ve had -¦ the lyrics challenge you to think on different levels, he said.

Often misinterpreted as an archetypal self-destructive artist type, Badoui is simply passionate about life. Moving away from the formulaic and institutionalised Australian music scene, Badoui is one of the few artists who is pushing the boundaries, and always striving for something more than what is just accepted.

Badoui plays 16 February 7pm @ Bar Me, 154 Brougham St (cnr William St), Kings Cross. Tickets: $15/20, bookings 9368 0894.

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