June 29, 2007
Bridging and balancing traditional styles with modern movements, Nawal’s music elegantly dances between cultures, reflecting the diverse musical colors of her native Comoros Islands. In a mesmerizing Indo-Arabian-Persian fusion, her music encompasses Bantu polyphonies; intoxicating, tightly-woven rhythms; and Sufi trance of the Indian Ocean. Her style and personality brings to mind such diverse artists as Zap Mama to Cesaria Evora, but she cultivates a highly distinctive sound that embraces hints of pop along with the acoustic ringing of traditional instruments. Singing in Comoran, Arabic, French and English, this multi-talented artist raises the bar of quality while reclaiming the idea of a true, world community through music.
“From her opening vocal solo, it was clear that Nawal’s roots lie in Muslim Africa. Her trio… fed off the audience’s energy and produced an evening of sparse but rich music, often with a spiritual, trance-like vibe. You don’t often get that much spirit on a Monday night, and it’s got to be culturally healing to have Americans chanting in Arabic about peace.” –Scott Stevens, Spin the Globe, Dec 2005
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