Dunia Best and Aram Sinnreich (Dunia & Aram) have been writing and playing music together for over two decades, and have been married for almost as long. They have performed around the world as a duo and with their bands Dubistry and Brave New Girl. Their songwriting ranges through a wide swath of styles, from punk to reggae to soul to folk to jazz. “One of These Days”, written with keyboardist Todd Nocera, was selected as a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition. Their work with guitarist Matt Urbania blossomed into critically acclaimed compositions like the acoustic ska classic “Roll Away.”
Dunia & Aram have collaborated with a wide range of artists around the world. Together, they have contributed songs and/or performances to groups including traditional folk band Low Lily, disco producer Hans Nieswandt, post-punk legends Vivien Goldman and Ari-Up, reggae powerhouse King Django, multi-instrumentalist Ahmondylla Best, Malian griot Cheick Hamala Diabate, world music collective Tributary Project, and post-ska supergroup The Specialized Project. Individually, their collaborators have included ska band Heavensbee, post-bop group The Rooftoppers, and all-women ska ensemble Rude Girl Revue, among others. Their music has taken them from the Atlantic to the Pacific, with performances around the world at venues in Japan, Germany, the UK, at numerous festivals, and on live television and radio appearances.
Dunia Best has been performing on multiple instruments since childhood. She studied vocal technique with Yolande Bavan and percussion with Ahmondylla Best. As a teenager, she performed as a singer, flutist and percussionist off-Broadway in the production Channel to Channel and created an a capella group who performed for members of the Broadway show Sarafina. After a stint with ska band, the Slackers, Dunia created the band Agent 99 (Moon Records, Shanachie Records) with Jay Nugent, Alec Baillie and Ara Babajian. After Alec’s departure in 1995, Dunia hired Aram Sinnreich to play bass.
Aram Sinnreich has been playing music professionally since he started busking on the streets and subways of NYC as a teenager in the late 1980s. After studying jazz performance and theory with Anthony Braxton and Jay Hoggard at Wesleyan University, as well as classical composition at the Mannes School of Music, he began playing bass in the Lower East Side music scene, performing at venues ranging from The Knitting Factory to Continental to Wetlands.
Dunia & Aram formed Brave New Girl in 1995 with keyboardist Todd Nocera (formerly of Thumper and Groove This), combining their multi-genre songwriting talents to develop a new style of music that fused reggae, jazz, and R&B, on the cusp of the neo-soul revolution. In 2002, Dunia and Aram relocated to Los Angeles and teamed up with guitarist Matt Urbania (of the Easy Star All-Stars and No-Shadow Kick) and drummer Ahmed Best (of Jazzhole, Stomp, and the Star Wars film franchise) to form Dubistry, a new band that infused break-beat logic into their reggae, ska, and soul roots. Dunia, Aram, and Matt all returned to NYC in 2007, where they rejoined forces with Nocera and recorded several albums as Dubistry and Brave New Girl while playing extensively with both bands.
Since relocating to the Washington, DC area in 2015, Dunia & Aram have focused more extensively on their work as a duo, inaugurating their latest new project with a series of “Quarantunes” live-streamed from their home studio during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. They also co-produced “Out of Our Shells,” a 2022 compilation of DC-based artists they produced using a mobile recording studio built with a grant from the Humanities Truck Foundation. They began collaborating with Hans Nieswandt in 2016 when they recorded the single #LetUsLive at the Folkwang Universität der Künste in Bochum, where Aram was giving a lecture on hip-hop and copyright. Hans immediately became their new partner in musical crime, frequently using both Dunia & Aram for his disco productions (such as Foot Job and Hippie Disco) and producing new singles they wrote and recorded from the USA.
Dunia & Aram recorded their first album as a duo, Bedfellows (GMO the Label, 2022), from their Silver Spring, MD home studio, collaborating with producer Hans Nieswandt in Seoul and mastering engineer Numinos in Cologne. Their first single from the album, “It’s Never Easy, Si” reached #2 on the World Indie Music radio charts in 2023.
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