#NadineElRoubi : The Message (Cairo/Sudan/Iran)
Sometimes life is hard, rough and unfair, and you see yourself slowly starting to lose the faith. The faith in what you thought you were truly loving, faith in the people, faith in yourself. For me faith is the close and intimate sister of passion and when you loosing it you're also loosing what makes humanity insane.
A faith that does not doubt is a dead faith, so when I'm "faithing" back, fighting back I'm always seeing what life bring to us as possibility to learn, to grow and to evolve. Sometimes life is unfair, but sometimes life bring you connection, exchange, art, culture and above all brilliant and lovely people.
Today, dears brothers and sisters, life is fair because life brought to us Nadine! From the other side of the Mediterranean Sea, making what she loves with commitment, faith and passion. When I've discovered what you will also discover in the following lines, I found the faith back because I saw in her eyes the conviction and devotion to arts and passion that was missing to me back then.
We've been separated, lockdown was more used than freedom, and we can find again this sacred word into the connection between different people and culture. Something that Nadine said on the interview caught my attention and I permit to myself to spoil you a bit, I'm sure that she will understand!
When I've said to her that her music directly touched my heart, she answers this beautiful thing : "it’s the highest gift to know someone resonates with something you created"
She is totally right, and there is no more precious and secret thing that enjoying the emotion of touched the heart of someone. You can win Grammys or win a Nobel Prize for Literature, the core and the roots of arts come from this little emotion. That's why you need to create, to stay creative, and to not be scared of showing what you're doing.
Make it pure, make it real, make it yours, shine on you crazy readers because you deserve it, humanity deserve it. What you're doing will resonate for someone, from the other side of the Mediterranean Sea, for a teenager in Japan or just around the corner of your street, what's the difference ?
Trust in yourself, art is everywhere if you decide to see it, in your job, in friendship and of course in love. Don't forget that, you can resonate for someone, you can give back the faith to someone somewhere through arts.
Brothers and sisters, dear readers, you can imagine how glad I am to introduce you to Nadine and her arts. I hope you will love her as much as I am. Marseille from Cairo, Sudanese and Iranian origins from Italian one. That is this kind of connection that makes our generation insane.
Nadine El Roubi for Radio Loubard
Hi Nadine! I just want you to know that I’m so glad and happy to host you as the first artist from Cairo and also the first sudanese woman on Radio Loubard! How you’re doing?
Thank you so much! It’s an honour - you’re my first interview from France! So I’m truly humbled and so excited to speak with you! I’m doing great, I hope you’re doing great too :)
Could you introduce yourself to your new french audience?
My name is Nadine, which I also go by for my artist name - I’m currently based in Cairo, Egypt! I’m Sudanese/Egyptian/Iranian and enjoy making music about self-love, healing, and growing in the style of neo-soul/hip-hop/RnB!
You have a lot of different origins! How do you feel about that ? Are they integrated in a way in your arts?
I feel great about it, it’s a huge blessing to have diverse ancestry and I feel very connected especially to my Egyptian and Sudanese roots. I really hope to travel to Iran one day to be able to feel that side of my heritage more deeply. My ethnicity is definitely integrated in the music I make as I often mention little motifs that feel special to home - like palm trees and mango juice! Other than that, my identity as an Afro-Arab woman is very important to me.
How did you get into music? What is your relation with it?
I got into music as a potential career in 2018 but I’ve always loved singing. I performed a lot in high school and during my undergrad years in Maastricht, The Netherlands, I used to record Lana Del Rey covers on Garage Band. I tried writing a couple of originals but was demotivated by how bad they were so I pretty much gave up on that until some friends encouraged me to try again in 2017.
When I discovered your works I was immediately touched directly to the heart! The way you interpret your lyrics has so much soul and strongness. What do you want for your listeners to feel when they listen to your tracks ?
Thank you so much, that’s so lovely to hear! It’s the highest gift to know someone resonates with something you created. Honestly when people listen to my music I would love for them to feel heard, seen, and empowered.
What are the main subjects of your lyrics ?
I like to talk about self-love, that’s a recurring theme in my music. I try to write as positively as I can because I often feel the opposite but want to affirm healing and joy in my music. That being said, I am definitely allowing myself to explore a more emotional/sad side to life in the songs I’m currently writing.
How can you describe your style ?
A little pop, a little hip-hop, a little neo-soul, a little RnB. I think these days genres are so redundant because everyone is dipping their toes into every genre. These days one song can transcend multiple genres! So if we’re talking conventionally, this is how I would describe my music genre wise. Otherwise I like to say that my music is kind of Lana Del Rey meets A$AP Rocky meets IAMDDB. Somehow. Haha
Your presence on stage or the way you kickin’ on the beat is awesome and super powerful! What’s on your mind when you’re rapping or singing?
Thank you so so much, that means the world to me! Honestly I couldn’t say what’s on my mind - I am usually so in the moment I’m not thinking too hard. I’m either trying to feel the lyrics enough to convey emotion or I’m thinking to myself “don’t mess up” haaha
You’re also an “artitvist” and you had the opportunity to participate to a conference about that. What are the most important things to change for you now?
I wouldn’t call myself an artivist although I would LOVE that label. I just don’t think I’ve made enough powerful art to be able to call myself that. I definitely see art is a means of revolution however. There are so many things that I find super important to change in the world that I wouldn’t even know where to start honestly. But in general I think the most important thing to change is myself. I want to be a better person myself before pointing fingers at the world and talking about what needs to change.
People from the Occidental countries always see middle east countries as a place where only wars and misery exist and happen. That is mainly caused by the fact that we only heard about these countries through images that we see on TV. You’re one of the representatives of these scenes, what do you think about that?
I think this is an incredible question and I thank you for asking it. I think it’s inevitable that we will be portrayed poorly in the media. It’s in the West’s political interests to keep the Middle East and Africa down. World politics are entirely skewed in Western favour and there’s no way around that. The most efficient way to raise awareness on the true beauty and power of our region is to increase representation of people like us in the media.
How is the current artistic scene in Cairo and in Sudan? No one is talking about that here :(
But you are talking about it :) and you are amazing for doing so! Really, thank you. It is so wonderful and gratifying to see someone from the West with their eyes on the art scene here who respects it enough to shed light on it. Thank you!
The art scene in Cairo and Khartoum is incredible. So many talented artists from all fields and everyone is so ambitious. I am truly honoured to be a small part of the scene here.
How is it to be a woman artist today in Egypt? Do you face difficulties that men don’t?
As women working in a male dominated industry (within a culture that already sees women in the arts as “loose”) I think we definitely have to be more wary than men of things like sexual harassment, being patronized, and being taken advantage of in general.
How do you see the future ?
I am trying to live as much as I can in the present moment :)
If you have a message for our generation, what would you say?
Be kind, compassionate, patient -- have faith in God - this is advice I try to follow myself every day
What are the next steps and releases?
I have some things planned but right now I’m just trying to get my schedule on track!
Would you have 3-4 artists to make us discover?
The C!rcle - incredible group of Sudanese artists who make the most incredible rap songs you’ll ever hear. Each member is incredibly unique and talented in their own way. And by mentioning them as a group I’m kind of cheating, because all 4 artists (AKA Keyz, G-SALIH, Eaz Da Bully, and Aidyproof) all have incredible solo careers you should follow as well
Lella Fadda - my favourite Egyptian artist of all time
Gaidaa - so so insanely talented. Her voice is like butter and every song is a banger
Nate Joël - an INSANEEEEE artist from America. Not only does this man write incredible bars but his CONSISTENCY is off the charts.
3-4 tracks ?
Akher Ayam Al Medina - Lella Fadda
Stranger - Gaidaa ft. Saba
Malahy - Kareem ElDab3
Don’t Try Me - michele
Other things to share with us (Books, Documentaries, Movies)?
The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer is amazing, so is Essential Sufism by James Fadiman and Robert Frager.
Do you want to say the final word?
Thank you for your incredible questions, it was so so nice to speak with you and I respect your work so much! I appreciate your time and support and can’t wait to meet your audience :)