RIYADH: Many young singers have discovered a home for their talent thanks to Saudi Arabia’s increased focus on music and the establishment of a music commission in 2020 that aims to develop non-discriminatory access to music education.
Noha Al-Sehemi, a 17-year-old Saudi singer, is one of them.
At 15, she was able to produce her first song on social media. Her songs highlight some traumas that she has experienced and the feeling of being misunderstood, which sparked the inner struggles that many teenagers feel.
Now she has launched a song called “Good Luck Sleepin’,” where she speaks about this inner conflict.
“Good Luck Sleepin’ is a song that means a lot to me because it reminds me of the time when I was 14 and was confused, and it was like an internal discussion,” Al-Sehemi told Arab News.
Her song was played on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music. She has performed her work at a series of events, one of them at the American embassy.
“I was flown out to Washington, DC by the Saudi embassy for the celebration of the national day in 2019,” she said.
Al-Sehemi prefers English music due to her family’s exposure to it.
“Growing up with a musical family helped me a lot, and when I was a child I always loved games that had music in them, like Guitar Hero, and I was curious about music,” she said. “I was exposed to many song genres and was influenced by them.”
Al-Sehemi describes her music genre as funk and likes classic rock, hip hop, R&B and jazz.
She plays piano and guitar. Although she has written a number of songs, she has decided to focus more on her vocals at the moment.
Al-Sehemi met a group of talented people in Open Night Mice, who helped her to produce her song in 2019.
“We got to know each other at an open mic night in August 2019 and it’s a Saudi Music Community initiative, and we recorded the song in my house,” she said.
“They all put in their own touches, so it was like a collective project with many different perspectives and tastes embedded in the song,” she said.
Al-Sehemi intends to record an entire album where she expresses her opinions and speaks directly to other teenagers who share her sentiments.
“I have been working on an album for three years now and many songs will be out soon and the lyrics of the music will tell you so much about what I feel, and I stopped being a stubborn person who wants to be a perfectionist about every song,” she said. “I usually throw away any song I don’t like initially, but now I just do what I believe in and everything else will follow.”