Every musician starts their career as a fan* and this blog lets me revel in my fandom by giving me an excuse to ask musicians I admire questions about their work! One such musician in Ruba Raouf Shamshoum. Read on to find out about her lyrics (which I'd completely misinterpreted!), working with my favourite camera wielder Eve North and Middle Eastern music we might be missing out on.
Fuqaati by Ruba Shamshoum
I tried to make the video personal, so the person praying was myself as a child. In the video I tried to combine elements of things I love, so there was the candy obviously, and the bubble for the girl in the video was her bed which is the place where we dream and escape, even if it's crawling under a warm blanket, her dog and the family portrait. For me these things are happiness, and it was important to have them on this journey. The girl faces her biggest fear, and is forced to dive into her emotions under water. Yes the video ends with a nap, but I haven't decided yet if it's a good nap or a bad nap, but she's joined with other kids who are napping in their own bubbles. For me this is also the journey innocence, who never finds her way back home.
I see you've worked with the photographer Eve North, who's work I adore! Tell us a bit about that. Your work has some really beautiful visual accompaniments (like the Fuqaati video as well as these photos) I'm assuming you've a strong interest in the visual arts as well as music?
Yes I absolutely loved working with Eve! It's really great when you choose to work with a person who can understand exactly what you want, and you can just let go and let them work their magic. Visuals are very important for me, and when I do something that includes visuals as well, I feel that the work is more complete. I also love the aspect of storytelling that visuals contribute to music. I feel like you get an extra layer to the world you're trying to create, another dimension, which makes the story richer.
What brought me to Ireland was that my husband found a job in Dublin and we felt like it would be awesome to do this adventure together...alone together :) I fell in love with this place almost immediately. There's magic in Ireland; in the colours, in the people and yes even in the weather! It's a beautiful place.
Yes there is this one artist whose work I love her name is Riona Sally Hartman! and no I'm not just saying that because you're interviewing me. I love your musical world, I love how detailed you are with the characters you created on your album, and your choice of instrumentation is great, minimalist yet so rich. So yeah keep up the great work! :)
Regarding artists that you maybe missing out on I would recommend Lena Chammamyan (an Armenian Syrian singer with the voice of angels), Sanaa Moussa (a Palestenian folklore singer with very special vocals), Souad Massi (an Algerian singer with a deep unique voice) and also check out Tarabband's song Baghdad Choby (a beautiful song about the nostalgia to Baghdad, Iraq.)
I would love to spend a day spying on Regina Spector while she's writing a song! That would be awesome.
You can find more of my music on my Youtube channel (Ruba Shamshoum) and Sound Cloud [I just checked out Ruba's Sound Cloud page and there's loads of great stuff up there]. Yes I'm currently working on recording some of my stuff. Hopefully I'll be releasing a few live session tracks in a few months, and I'll have a gig in October in Dublin, because I will be back home for the summer. I usually write all the updates, and publish any future events on my Facebook page.
**I swear this wasn't meant to be a leading question!