On November 18, Lebanese singer Nadine Khoury released her album “Another Life”. An exceptionally beautiful album. The review posted on Maxazine said the following about the album and singer: “Khoury has such a voice that charms and haunts you. Hear beautiful songs like “Keep Pushing Back These Walls,” which are as beautiful as ice crystals breaking on a sunlit winter morning before they hit the ground. Nadine Khoury should be on every pop music lover’s watch list. Nadine Khoury can get pretty big. Desperate growth.
Nadine Khoury was born in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. She was a war child. She and her parents moved to London when she was eight years old. “I grew up in a house where music was always in play. My parents loved rock and roll. After we moved to England, I finally got a guitar on my 11th birthday, and started playing it instinctively. I’m completely self-taught, never having lessons in Music. Music as a profession was never something I thought about or discussed in my environment anyway, but making music has become more powerful than me, and I don’t have any control over it anymore.”
The new album, now third, doesn’t drop out of the blue. Already in 2010 she managed to get her hands on her first album, A Song to the City. In 2019, The Salted Air album should have made their breakthrough, but the Corona pandemic knew what to do about it. Direct promotion was not possible. However, “Salt Air” also received much critical acclaim. Reason enough to call two clubs in London and talk to each other to get to know this special artist better. Getting to know her better is also necessary, because Nadine is not very well known in the Netherlands.
“That may be true, because my range in the Netherlands is still very small. So far I play mainly in the UK and France,” says Nadine with a somewhat wary smile. “However, I’ve performed in the Netherlands before, and that was a support act for Irish singer-songwriter Adrian Crowley, and I think we played at Paradiso in Amsterdam. That was in 2018 I think.” Her eyes roll back as if she remembers better.
Some research has shown that Nadine has already given a number of concerts in the Netherlands in 2018 as a support act for Crowley, specifically at the Waltz-Kirk, in Amsterdam, Bard in The Hague and at the Mennonite Congregation in Utrecht. “After that I didn’t really tour anymore. There were a few more concerts in France, then the pandemic came and I couldn’t play live anymore. Hopefully that will change now.”
In addition to the Corona epidemic around the world, the huge explosion of ammonium nitrate stockpiles on August 4, 2020 in Beirut threw a wrench into the works of Nadine’s creative plans. The blast put her plans to make new music videos on the back burner. In this way, Nadine Khoury also wanted to offer young creative Lebanese talents a stage. In the end, Nadine made two beautiful videos for the tracks “Vertigo” and “Keep Pushing These Walls”, for which she herself returned to Beirut to collaborate with the talented Lebanese director Tarek Keblawi, who is currently working on making it happen. From his first movie, Shaheen.
However, she started her music career very early, and her first EP dates back to 2010. “That’s right. I released my first single in 2010 called “A Song to the City,” but after that I stopped making music for a while. You know, I found the music industry a tough place to find my footing in, so I stopped then. That only changed when John Parish asked me to work together.”
Nadine Khoury dedicated her first EP to singer-songwriter Lassa de Syla, who passed away in January 2010. Little known in the Netherlands, but certainly still popular in France. Definitely a good reference to listen to if you want to learn about Nadine Khoury’s work place. “Oh, my God,” Nadine replies, “I gladly accept that compliment.” “I am very happy to hear that.”
In 2017, Nadine’s first collaboration with producer John Parish, known for his years of collaboration with PJ Harvey, resulted in the release of the single ‘I run thru the Dark (to the beat of my heart)’, in which the current style of Nadine’s music was put out. Already with more poppy beats. There are many similarities between Khoury’s methods and Parrish’s work with PJ Harvey. Sometimes she and John appear to be in a relationship.
Nadine must be laughing uncontrollably at that last comment. “No, no, none of that, but it’s a nice story. I’ve always been a fan of his work since I was a teenager. One night in 2010 he was playing in London at ‘The Water Rats’ club in King’s Cross, London, so I went there. After the concert I went to buy some merchandise and then I could ask him for an autograph. So a real fan, but I took the opportunity to give him my demo. Later that same week, he called me and asked if I wanted to record a track on a soundtrack he was working on. It. Of course I accepted. I went to Bristol to shoot, and we’ve been working together ever since.” The track ended up not being on the soundtrack to the movie She, a Chinese, but was eventually released on the vinyl version of his “Screenplay” solo album.
Next year, Khoury wants to tour a lot. Shows to introduce people to her new album. “I would love to come and play in clubs in the Netherlands, maybe at a festival.” Her sympathetic smile is as charming as her music. Nadine Khoury is an experienced newcomer who is yet to receive the recognition she certainly deserves. Recognition will surely come when you conquer the stages in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Photo (c) Steve Goullick