EMEL and Ami Yerewolo lead the women to reclaim their strength in “Nar” [Video]

Tunisan-born, New York-based art-pop singer, producer, and activist EMEL teams up with Malian rapper Ami Yerewolo for this powerful anthem “Nar” (which means Fire in Arabic)  which serves as a call to action for women to take charge and use their natural strength to make change. Backed by pounding drums, rich layered exotic musical tapestry and cinematic sound design, EMEL delivers an impassioned performance ripe with empowering themes that implore women folk across the globe to reclaim their voices. Joining her is Ami who adds a fiery rap verse to the track in her native language and together they push the musical boundaries while threading their African cultures with a modern liberal viewpoint. The accompanying visual is a showcase of cultures, and feminine strength displayed in motifs and choreography with eye-popping colourful set pieces. Directed by Inès Saidi, and produced by Deena Abderrahim of Film DNA, the video was filmed on location at an old, women-operated textile factory in Cairo, Egypt and a village on the outskirts of Bamako, Mali — both speak to female revolutionary power.

“Nar” is lifted from EMEL’s forthcoming 100% women-made LP, MRA, due 4/19.

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EMEL’s career is punctuated with eclectic collaborations with iconic artists like Alaïa and Jean-Paul Gaultier on her stage wardrobe and scoring work with Shirin Neshat, Robert Del Naja, and more recently on Assassin’s Creed: Mirage. In 2010, she was named the voice of the Arab Spring when her folk-hymnal “Kelmti Horra (My Word Is Free),” once banned, was resurrected as a protest anthem. She’d later perform the track at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and concert in Oslo. Two years later,  amongst touring all over Europe and the US, EMEL furtively played an underground concert in volatile Baghdad, Iraq, and a highly illegal, all-women performance in Iran, as chronicled in the documentary No Land’s Song. And last summer, she performed for Palestinians — the subject of her track “Naci En Palestina (I Was Born in Palestine)”— in East Jerusalem and the West Bank facing backlash.

“I don’t create things to be consumed,” she says. “I hope it transcends time, transcends boundaries, transcends cultures. Music can change the world.”

Stream “Nar” on all DSPs here.

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