Spotify showcases picture of Kurdish singer Naaz in New York Times Square
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The picture of the Dutch-Kurdish singer-songwriter Naaz Mohammad, known simply as Naaz, was shown on a billboard in Times Square, New York City on Friday, after she was picked by Spotify to be their ‘equal artist’ for this month.
In March 2021, Spotify launched EQUAL, a program to promote gender equality in music.
Picture of the Kurdish artist Naaz Mohammed on a billboard in Times Square, New York City.— Kurdistan 24 English (@K24English) August 21, 2022
📸 @BitsOfNaaz pic.twitter.com/5M8uFtjUgT
“Spotify approached me to become their EQUAL artist for this month. This is a beautiful campaign that they’re running where they highlight women artists they love and support,” Mohammad told Kurdistan 24 in an interview.
“I thought it was incredible they picked my Kurdish song ‘Azadî’ for this, as it feels like such a statement to promote an artsy song like that in a niche language. As part of the campaign they showcased a picture of me on a billboard on Times Square.”
“This is obviously huge so I decided to send in a photo of me in Kurdish style clothing. My friend (also Kurdish) Beri Dalgali took the picture. I feel like I look like a Kurdish empress in the middle of New York, what a statement!,” she stated.
The song Azadi is her first Kurdish song. “I just released my first Kurdish song ‘Azadî’, I have never had so much response to a song as I have on that one. I definitely want to write one more Kurdish song for my album,” she added.
“People have always told me I have a Middle Eastern way of singing. I hadn’t noticed it myself until just 2 years ago. I realised a lot of the notes that I pick when I write music sound Kurdish, and found out I create a lot of melodies in the Kurdish music scale,” she said.
“I think this happened because my parents have always listened to a lot of Kurdish music growing up so I just sponged it up. I love to add a lot of violins in the Middle Eastern scale to all my music.”
Mohammad also works with a Syrian refugee violist in Berlin called Badee Alhindi for her album. “He knows how to add the Middle Eastern effect I love. My producer Dylan van Dael is Columbian, the Spanish scale has a lot in common with our scale. So he also knows how to give the music a Kurdish edge.”
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When Mohammad started her career, she wrote, recorded and produced all her music in her bedroom and built her career from there. “I still make a lot of my music at home now but mostly in the studio with Dylan,” she added.
Next year, she will release her debut album and perform on January 27, 2023 at Royal Theatre Carré (Koninklijk Theater Carré) in the Nederlands.
“Right now I’m building my album and hopefully I can tour next year, maybe even perform in Kurdistan. This would be a dream,” she concluded.