Egyptian teenager singer set to make waves in Mideast

The 17-year-old Egyptian singer who has recently been signed to Sony Music Middle East, has just released her debut single Snow

Published: Updated:
Enable Read mode
100% Font Size

Nathalie Saba, a 17-year-old Egyptian singer who has recently been signed to Sony Music Middle East, has just released her debut single Snow. Her music video has garnered more than 75,000 views on her VEVO channel.

Saba is set to “become one of the most exciting artists to emerge from the Middle East in years,” according to entertainment website The Weekly Diary. She talks to Al Arabiya News about her artistic journey.

Who is Nathalie Saba?

I grew up in Cairo. I always question everything about life and existence. I love connecting with people around me, and I couldn’t find a better way other than singing to do this. I’m a very down-to-earth person, and quite passionate when it comes to the things I love doing. One of my main goals behind singing is to inspire people.

How did your musical journey begin?

My first performances and studio recording sessions were when I was at the choir when I was little - that’s when I knew this was what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. When I turned 13, I had my first performance with a band at a big venue in Cairo. I kept performing at venues in Cairo until I turned 16. I gained enough experience by then to take my career to another level.

Which artists have the most influence on your music style?

Florence and The Machine, and Sia - both are great artists and have inspired me very much.

How did you get signed to Sony Music Middle East?

One night I heard my phone ringing, I answered, and a guy introduced himself to me. He told me he heard my cover for Stay by Rihanna, and he really loved my voice. He said he’d already sent it to the general manager of Sony Music Middle East. I didn’t know the guy, so at first I didn’t take it seriously, but I thanked him for believing in my talent even though he didn’t know me.

Later on, I started receiving emails from the Sony Music team - that’s when I realized I shouldn’t take this opportunity for granted, and I also realized how lucky I am to be signed to one of the biggest music labels in the world. One of the things I love about being with Sony Music Middle East is they don’t try in any way to change who I am.

How did your family react to Sony’s offering?

My family were as excited as I was. They’ve been very supportive, especially my mom and sister - they’ve been amazing.

Being just 16 at the time, how did you deal with the sudden change in your life?

At first I didn’t realize how much it could affect my life, but that changed when things got more serious. I don’t have time to do any side activities other than go to school, study for exams, attend my vocals class and work on new songs. I love hard work, and passion makes it a lot easier for me to go on.

What is Snow about?

Snow was literally inspired from the snow outside my window in Sweden. I came up with the lyrics on my third day in the country. The song explains that not everything that looks beautiful from the outside does from the inside as well. It’s about this girl who reached a certain point in her life where she finally decided to look at things from the right angle.

This can happen with a lover, friend or best friend. I like to keep things real in my songs. The EP contains different varieties of songs, but all their lyrics are connected in some way. I can’t wait for people to hear it.

When you went to Sweden to record your EPs, it was your first time leaving home. What was that like?

It felt scary. It was my first time leaving Egypt on my own, with not so much experience and above all the responsibility of making really good songs that will represent me for a long time to different people around the world.

But the minute I arrived and met with Sony Music marketing director Hania Refaat, and we started the music writing camp in Stockholm, I felt really comfortable. It was easy for the producers and I to connect, which was the most important thing to me.

What are some challenges you have faced in your career?

The fact that I’m a young girl who lives in Egypt and is trying to follow her dream. People aren’t very open-minded in Egypt, so I did everything with difficulty. But my mother was very supportive, and always used to defend me whenever people disagreed about my lifestyle and my career, so that has made it a lot easier for me.

Top Content Trending