- 25 May 17
Ahead of the launch of her new album, Beauty Spots, Palestinian singer/songwriter Ruba Shamshoum discusses her unique array of musical influences, the effects of singing in Arabic and English, and moving from the Middle East to Ireland.
“I moved here about five years ago,” says Ruba, explaining her relocation to the Emerald Isle. “My husband found a job here while I was studying music in Nazareth. Then I moved with him and continued studying jazz performance at the New Park Music Centre. I graduated two years ago and I’ve been performing ever since in Dublin, the UK and the Middle East.”
I ask Ruba to forgive me for my ignorance before admitting that my knowledge of Middle Eastern music is hazy at best…
“That’s understandable!” she laughs. “Middle Eastern music hasn’t exactly gone global. But personally, my music comes from a lot of different directions. Obviously the Arabic music that I’ve listened to since my childhood is there in my brain, so when I compose, it’s a major influence. But in addition to that, I’m an MTV child. I listened to rock music most of my life and so did my friends. After that, there’s the jazz music I studied in college and Brazilian music that I’d listen to now. So in a sense, although my music might have its origins in the Arabic strains, it comes more naturally to me to compose western music.”