We feel the love  for Mashrou’ Leila – believe us, we do  – but the band’s latest international media coverage made us wonder: Does the Western media love Mashrou’ Leila even more than locals?

Last week, BBC highlighted the group in Middle East Beats, with a video of the group performing "Skandar Malouf."

This is the latest in a trend of great international coverage for the band - in the last year alone, they have been featured in the BBC, Vice, Huffingtonpost  and Internazionale. Google News brings up more than 2,000 articles on them.

StepFeed was curious if this was in anyway in proportion to their popularity in the region. How do you measure how popular a band is? We’re not sure, especially when looking at a independent group, but we decided to use three things: Followers on the Anghami digital music service, Facebook and Twitter.

It might not be terribly scientific, but then again, we're journalists.

Mashrou’ Leila's ‘popularity'

  • Facebook: 254K
  • Twitter followers: 21K
  • Anghami: 27K

But who to compare the group to? We felt the simplest thing was to look at the current top artist on Anghami, which has a mostly regional audience. That’s Nassif Zeytoun today, for his song “Nami Aa Sadri.”

Nassif Zeytoun's 'popularity'

  • Facebook: 3.7M
  • Twitter followers: 85K
  • Anghami: 681K

Clearly, Zeytoun’s got quite a leg up on Mashrou’ Leila on social media. Yet when it came to intentional media coverage, we didn’t find a single large international publication that had covered him, and only 127 results for his name in Google News.

What about in Arabic media - the language both are performing in? Google News found just 221 media mentions of Masrou' Leila in Arabic, versus more than 15,000 for Zeytoun.

We found similar results with Lebanon’s pop star Elissa and the iconic Nancy Ajram, looking at more established stars.

So what's behind Mashrou' Leila's blockbuster media presence in the English language? How is an Arabic indie rock band winning over Western journalists (yes, #ISeeTheIrony)? Do they have the Don Draper of the music industry handling their PR? Or does Mashrou’ Leila just hit all the right notes for Western journalists looking for a story?

We think so.

The coverage tends to highlight the sexuality of leader singer Hamed Sinno, the band's crowd-funding success  and their outsider status . Some media also suggest that the group - whose first two albums were released in 2009 and 2011 - somehow encapsulates the Arab Spring . Verdict: it's not surprising that the media has fallen in love with the group.

Will the crazy attention from Western media translate into long-term success for the group in the region? We'll entertain ourselves watching more Mashrou' Leila videos while we wait and see, and cheer them on.