A Fusion of Arabic and Jazz

Composing and singing with Mothana Anbar.

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born and raised in Jeddah. I traveled at the age of 19 to finish my undergraduate studies at the University of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA and have been practicing music since the year 2000.

How did your musical journey begin?

I started learning about music from my uncle who studied music at an Egyptian institute; I’ve been experimenting with music ever since. When I was in college, I used music for class projects to express ideas and tell stories incorporating Arabic poetry in the process.

Your compositions are usually jazz, Arabic or oriental. How do you work with such diverse genres?

Living in New Orleans, also known as the birthplace and capital of jazz, was a major influence on my music taste. Even though I accept all genres with an open mind, I consider jazz my comfort zone. Then of course comes the oriental and Arabic poetry part, which is tied to my heritage and culture. It’s deeply rooted in my existence and I am simply trying to fuse both worlds to come up with new means of expression.

What would be one of your favorite moments on stage?

The moment I lose sense of place and time and all that’s left is the overall journey and emotions carried by the music and its meaning.

What is your dream project?

“Musical projection” is something I’ve been trying to develop for a while. Basically, it’s using the technology of “projection mapping” to create an interactive short play using music and poetry. Hopefully, it’ll become a reality one day.

What do you think needs to be done to enhance the music scene in the Kingdom?

  • Showing people that music can be beneficial.

  • Creating venues with easy access for musicians to openly perform.

  • Reintroducing music in schools and opening institutions that teach music and all kinds of arts is also an option.

What piece of advice would you give to upcoming musicians?

Be persistent in achieving your goals and dreams. Always work on improving yourself and remember that there will always be obstacles. Most importantly, have fun with the art you’re creating.

Twitter: mothannaanbar
Soundcloud: mothanna-anbar

You Might Also Like