Nour Khan, a versatile musician, navigates the intricacies of mental health through her music, from sound experimentations and collaborations to embarking on a healing journey with her latest single 'Shuaa El Nour.'

Her followers say she's got this Rasha Rizk vibe when she performs in Arabic. Then, when she switches to English, suddenly it's like she's channeling her inner Amy Lee.

Meet Nour Khan, a musical chameleon capable of switching musical colors from one spectrum to another. The cat-loving singer-songwriter enjoys watching anime and reading, probably while putting on makeup. But her story is not all bright hues — as her latest single unravels.

'Shuaa El Nour' cover artwork. Image supplied. Credits: Mostafa Adry Khalifa

When COVID hit, Nour began to struggle with her mental health. However, when life threw stones at her, she turned them into lemons. She decided to release her first EP 'Dawama' — a record (no pun intended) of what she was going through at that moment. "It was the first time I wrote in colloquial Arabic," she recalls. The lyrics of the previous original songs were taken from famous Fusha poems. "I experimented with new sounds and kept doing that in the following singles," she says.

Her mental health experience led to her latest single 'Shuaa El Nour.' The track encapsulates the challenges faced by individuals grappling with mental health issues. It serves as a poignant reminder that amidst the darkest moments, hope persists. With the passage of time, coupled with patience and support, there's the potential to overcome adversity, stepping out of the shadows and into the comforting embrace of light.

"And this reminder is also for me because I struggle with my mental health a lot, so I felt like I had to remind myself with this song."

Nour Khan in the studio. Photo Supplied. Credits: Eyad Essam

Nour's musical odyssey officially started with her debut original track 'Ghorabaa' in 2013, following a period of singing covers and performing at open mics. A turning point came with the success of her Japanese anime cover 'Unravel' on Soundcloud, leading to performances at prominent anime events. After a hiatus post her second original release, 'Layta Li,' she dedicated three years to professional voice training at Cairo Opera House.

"So far, the highlight of my journey is when 'Aalam Jameel' was chosen to be the ending theme song for the Saudi series 'Jameel Jeddan,'" she shares, while 'Ala El Hady' was featured twice in the renowned series Stiletto. Recognition from listeners who inquired about the artist behind the voice affirmed her impact.

"I also collaborated with two of her favorite rappers in the region Illiam and Arsenik." Nour is eager to team up with Lege-Cy; "his music speaks to me." She can't help but admire how he articulates his thoughts and emotions through his music. The project would be an epic success.

Acknowledging the fortune of past opportunities, Nour remains eager for future experiences. "A journey as an artist is a very long one," she says, expressing her eagerness to learn from future experiences. "I’ll keep experimenting, I’ll keep learning, and I’ll keep creating."

"I also consider my music as therapy because I write what I feel all the time."

That perhaps sums up her creative process that usually starts with a thought followed by a simple melody right away. "And if I like it, I start writing and see how I feel about it," she explains. Typically, she completes the composition and writing before heading to the studio to collaborate with producers on production. However, there are instances when she finalizes everything directly in the studio. "I always trust my gut feeling; there’s this feeling that tells me whether this song is gonna be great or not."

Credits: Eyad Essam

When Nour started struggling with her mental health, everything changed — the way she sees life, herself, and everything else in between. Despite facing numerous challenges, she made the choice to embark on a healing journey, seeking a deeper understanding of herself. Through this process, she unearthed a reservoir of inner strength. "I saw the strength in me I never knew I had," she concludes.

HOMEGROWN is musivv’s segment dedicated to featuring UAE-based artists. Features under this segment are considered as submissions for nomination under this category in the Musivv Awards’ annual recognition.

December 22, 2023

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