Influenced as much by Arab protesting singers, such as Cheikh Imam and Marcel Khalifé, as by the folk of the American Joan Baez, Emel Mathlouthi called “Emel” got known in 2011 with the song “Kelmti Horra” (“My Word is Free”) which she performed in the middle of the Arab Spring, and which became an hymn to freedom.

Quickly, she released her first album entitled «Kelmti Horra» and participated in the first female soloist concert given at the Tehran opera since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. A a committed artist, in 2015, she was invited to sing in Oslo at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet.

In 2017, the Tunisian singer, muse of the revolution, is excluded from the programming of the Carthage International Festival. Under pressure from the public and the media, she finally reintegrated the list of artists and performed accompanied by musicians from the Orchestre Debout, formed during the Nuit debout movement that took place in France in March 2016.

That same year, she released her second album, “Ensen”. For this project, she surrounded herself with the Icelandic sound engineer and composer Valgeir Sigurậsson, known for his collaborations with Björk or Sigur Rós. She then turned even more to electronic music and merges genres. «Everywhere We Looked Was Burning» released in 2019 is a record entirely sung in English.

During spring 2020, while staying at her childhood home in Tunis, she recorded alone the bases of a double album «The Tunis Diaries» whose first arrangements only use acoustic guitar and voice. Like a homecoming «The Tunis Diaries» has two parts, one entitled «Day» and the other «Night». The first disc includes the track “Holm” seen more than 14 million times on YouTube since its release in 2020. The second album features cover songs by Leonard Cohen, David Bowie and Jeff Buckley. In September 2021, she collaborated with the French electronic music producer Vitalic for a show at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris; the two artists created music around the poetry of Ghada al-Samman.

The Tunisian singer based in New York returns with a new album at Spring 2024. Her fourth album “MRA” to be released on April 19th is the fruit of an artistic and musical renaissance. MRA puts women at the heart of the creative process, with Emel working with producer Hannah Vasanth (JP Cooper, Stormzy, Yola…) and inviting female artists from Mali, Ukraine, Iran, and The UK to offer a tribal and percussive, urban and electronic mix of music.

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