- 11 Dec 21
'Winti Hon' (When You're Here) is taken from Palestinian artist Ruba Shamshoum's April 2021 EP 'Risha' ("Feather").
Poetic dream pop creator Ruba Shamshoum has delivered a heartfelt mix of playful melodies and vibrant Arabic verse in her latest single 'Winti Hon', with a beautifully animated video by premiered below.
Illustrated by Beirut-based Lebanese artist Amy Chiniara, the 'Winti Hon' ("When You're Here") video sees the Palestinian musician's vocals paired with beautiful drawings and pink tones. An origami paper boat travels through land and rivers while Shamshoum's voice reigns supreme in the background. The song is part of Ruba’s April 2021 EP Risha, produced by Grammy nominated producer Alev Lenz and supported by A.M. Qattan Foundation.
“The song ‘Winti Hon’ - Arabic for ‘When You’re Here’- revolves around the sentiment that home is wherever love resides - how the world feels like a better place when we’re close to the people we love," Ruba tells Hot Press. "Amy captured that visually using a letter that goes on a journey, morphing into different shapes, and traveling the world, only to go back to its original shape when arriving at its final destination - the hands of a loved one. Working with Amy was not just a pleasure because everything was flowing artistically, but also a testament to how professional a person can be under dire circumstances."
"Amy and Ali Dalloul (the editor) worked on this video in Beirut, sometimes between power outages because of the huge electricity and fuel problem in Lebanon amongst other shortages in essentials caused by a corrupt government," Shamsoum adds. Both Ruba and Amy have experienced extreme turbulence in their home countries over the last number of years, with genocide, corruption and poverty a mainstay.
"The making of this video was very special, we were able to collaborate and work together remotely, in spite of the geographic borders imposed on us, preventing us from actually meeting in person in our homelands. We challenged the distance and the colonial, man-made borders and were able to create beautiful and meaningful art together, art, which at its core is about the human connection.”
Ruba's second solo project Risha ("Feather") is described as “an open love letter to femininity." Across the five track EP, the artist explores the different relationships of love through human connection - to one another, to nature and to the self.
Currently based in London, Ruba was born and raised in Nazareth, Palestine, before moving to Ireland to study jazz performance. Drawing on her strengths as a jazz singer, Ruba’s free-flowing vocal harmonies move across multilayered instrumental soundscapes. By embodying her raw yet refined style, Ruba purposefully celebrates her Arabic mother tongue while effortlessly shifting between genres. Ruba premiered her second track on the EP, 'Sununu’ back in February, later gaining global traction with the release of her music video.
Ruba addresses and promotes the discussion of mental health, love, and loneliness through her lyrical scope of storytelling. Each of her songs remoulds the identity of Arabic music by providing a fresh new wave of emotive, musical communication. Incorporating live instruments and electronic sounds to provide a spectrum of emotions, Risha confidently expresses vulnerability, life, and love in all its colourful complexities.
As a vocalist and composer, Ruba composed a soundtrack for the feature film When I Saw You, releasing top indie chart hits in Northern Africa and the Arabic region. This eventually led Shamshoum to give a TED talk titled 'Being Creative in a Society that Worships the Past', hosted by the London Business School.
Whilst studying in Ireland, Ruba became an active member of the Irish Jazz scene; writing, arranging and self-releasing her debut album, Shamat (Beauty Spots) in 2017. In light of its success, Ruba worked closely with Palestinian poet Farah Chamma to write the music and lyrics for ‘Mai w Dai (Water and Light)’, a performance showcased in London, January 2020. Shamshoum continues to bring her contemporary, innovative, and genre-bending ideas to listeners from Europe and the Middle East by celebrating the Arabic language.
Watch the beautifully animated video below for 'Winti Hon':
To find out more about Ruba's work, visit rubashamshoum.com.
- Film & TV
- 01 Jun 23