Music

Nour on Crafting Musical Identity in Egyptian Culture

The rising Egyptian pop star shares her journey, influences and upcoming projects in an exclusive interview.

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Egyptian pop artist Nour has emerged onto the music scene with a blend of contemporary sounds and traditional Arabic influences. Her journey as a musician is characterized by a deep-rooted connection to her Egyptian heritage, a commitment to authenticity and a creative spirit. As she continues to evolve as an artist, one thing remains certain, Nour’s stardom is on the rise.

In an exclusive interview, Nour shares insights into her musical journey, sources of inspiration, cultural influences and exciting upcoming projects.

Hypebae: How did you begin your journey as a singer?

Nour: I started releasing music in 2021 with my first single. Before that, I was always joining my school talent shows. I always wanted to sing since I was a kid. I’ve always listened to music when I was a kid and it inspired me; it made me feel. When I watched Justin Bieber‘s tour documentary, it made me realize I could do this every day. I wanted it to be my life.

Where do you find inspiration when you make music?

I find inspiration from my past experiences, memories or current experiences or through the emotions I’m feeling or have felt in the past. Right now, love, anger and confusion are the emotions that drive my inspiration.

Who are your musical influences?

Nicki Minaj, I’ve always looked up to her growing up. Her confidence, her lyrics, the way she presents herself and the way she stands for what she believes. Melanie Martinez inspired me visually. Everything is thought out and coherent and planned out and it draws you into this universe and you’re in it and there’s no way out. Another musical influence comes from Mashrou’ Leila. I’ve never heard something that was in Arabic and so relatable. It’s so inspiring to see that they have built their career in such an opposing environment to what they’re doing.

How do you approach incorporating Arabic elements into your music?

Besides writing predominantly in Arabic, we also play around with samples from Arab music. In the Daydreamer EP, we used Egyptian rhythms on the drums to make it feel more like it comes from home.

In your opinion, what role does music play in shaping cultural identity and fostering unity among Egyptians?

Music plays a huge role in bringing people together here in Egypt. It’s something that gives people joy and hope and helps them forget about the troubles of every day. I think Shaabi has shaped the culture of Egypt in the way we move and the way we dance; it plays through every car. It’s something that gets you through the day. And it plays at all the big events here and weddings. It’s the way we have fun and enjoy each other’s company.

What messages do you want to convey as an artist?

I would like to tell people to stay true to who they are. Stand up for something. And always have something important to address if it’s something they believe in.

Lastly, can you tell us about any upcoming projects or collaborations you’re excited about?

I’ve got some music that’s coming up. I’ve soundtracked a movie that’s gonna be released soon. And I’m performing at BRED Abu Dhabi on April 25, on the lineup with some of my fav artists like Metro Boomin’. I find it so surreal and can’t wait to perform.

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