“My mum was more into Led Zeppelin.”


Transglobal Underground & Natacha Atlas – Sky Giant

Natacha Atlas is a Belgian singer known for her fusion of  Arabic and Western electronic music, particularly hip-hop. She once termed her music “cha’abi moderne” (modern popular music). Her music has been influenced by many styles including Arabic, drum ‘n’ bass, and reggae.  Atlas began her career as part of the world fusion group Transglobal Underground. In 1995, she began to focus on her solo career with the release of Diaspora. She has since released seven solo albums and been a part of numerous collaborations.  She is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Conference Against Racism.
excerpted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natacha_Atlas


Natacha Atlas – Yalla Chant {Banco De Gaia Remix}

The daughter of a neurology lecturer of Egyptian descent and an English (occasional) costume designer, Atlas was born in Belgium and grew up in a Moroccan suburb of Brussels, becoming (semi) fluent in French, Arabic, Spanish and English and studying singing and the raq sharki (belly dancing) techniques she uses to dramatic effect today. Her paternal grandfather had shortened the family name, El Atlasi, on arriving in Europe: “I have ancestry in Morocco further back than Egypt,” she says in her clipped London vowels. “But that name is also found in Syria and Lebanon.”

Her father’s large LP collection ranged from Middle Eastern sounds to occidental classical (“My mum was more into Led Zeppelin”). The house she shared with her brother and sister swayed to the unmistakeable voices of Egyptian diva Oum Kalsoum, the Lebanese tenor Wadi El Safi and Lebanon’s beloved Fairuz, the latter interpreting material written for her by the Rahbani Brothers. “I just loved the Fairuz/Rahbani style of music because it was a fusion. The Rahbanis had studied both Western and Arabic music and were fusing them way before I was born. It just made sense to me.”

Later, when at boarding school in Sussex, England after her parents’ divorce Atlas nurtured an early teenage crush on Abdel Haleem Hafiz, the hugely popular Egyptian singer, actor and heartthrob who died, aged 47, in 1977. Aged 16 she moved with her mother to Northampton for two years – becoming the city’s first Arabic rock star – then started travelling to countries including Greece, Turkey and across the Middle East, looking up relatives and soaking up inspiration. For a while she shuttled between the UK and Brussels, singing in a range of Arabic and Turkish nightclubs and even a Belgian salsa band.

excerpted from http://www.myspace.com/natachaatlasofficial

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