Biography – Phil Monsour
Phil’s music is a loud cry against apathy and a compelling call to solidarity. A Brisbane based musician with an extensive record as a solo performer, his powerful songs tell the inspiring human stories buried in mainstream headlines.
2017 marked the released of the One Song One Union Project. Twelve union and solidarity songs, with a song dedicated to each participating union.
In 2016 he produced the album We Teach Life (2016). with Palestinian spoken word artist Rafeef Ziadah, creating a fusion between her words and his original music compositions. Phil’s latest solo album, 100 Days (2014) features Sydney Oud player Mohamed Youssef and distinctively blends Eastern sounds, from Phil’s Arab heritage, with his contemporary acoustic rock style. The powerful title track 100 days tells the story of Palestinian refugees lost at sea while trying to reach Australia’s shores. His other solo releases include Ghosts of Deir Yassin (2012), the Empire’s New Clothes (2008), Live at Ahimsa House (2010), Lies and Silence (2009), and the Smart Bombs EP (2001). His Ghosts of Deir Yassin was recorded at Wavelength Recording in Brisbane with a full band. The music that emerged over a period of several months is an upbeat and dynamic vehicle for Phil’s unique lyrical concerns.
In addition to his music, Phil is a committed trade unionist and activist. He has travelled to the Occupied Palestinian West Bank, but like others of Arab background, was denied entry to Gaza. In Lebanon he spend time in Palestinian refugee camps and filmed his song Ghosts of Deir Yassin. Twenty per cent of all funds from Phil’s album sales is donated to the Australian Council of Trade Unions overseas development agency for projects in the Middle East. Phil’s 13 song album, The Empire’s New Clothes, was described by Noel Mengel in the Brisbane Courier Mail as“ the most passionate album of his career…..The Empire’s New Clothes shows traces of his interest in folk and world music but also rocks with amp-rattling intensity on songs like the blazing One Step and the anthemic Sing Your Song”. Musically, The Empire’s New Clothes creates a contemporary and complex musical landscape. With the band Popproperly, Phil released two albums: Popproperly (1999) and Faint Blue Glow (1998), as well as a number of EPs and singles. Renowned for their high energy folk rock performances, Popproperly toured extensively throughout Europe.
Phil has headlined prestigious venues internationally (in England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, Canada, the United States, New Zealand and the Netherlands) with his unique mix of music and protest poetry and was described as an “Australian troubadour who sings songs of hope, humanity, invasion and occupations”. (Limelight Magazine).