Born in Syria to Iraqi parents and now based in London, oud player Khyam Allami's path to his instrument was a circuitous one. As a boy he played violin and after coming to London he made himself known on the indie rock circuit as a drummer and percussionist. But in 2004 his life took a turn when he started studying the oud, Arabic music theory and traditional Iraqi repertoire. Finding his vocation, he went on to travel across the Middle East, studying with oud masters in Cairo and Istanbul. Returning to London to complete his music degrees, in 2010 he was awarded the BBC Radio 3 World Routes Academy Scholarship, leading to performances at WOMAD, BBC Proms and his first album, winning acclaim for his fluid, personal style, tradition-rooted but touched with a free-wheeling adventurousness.