All-female Saudi band Seira̵7;s live debut showcases the electrifying power of women
RIYADH: The profile of women continues to rise in the contemporary music industry in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East, with all-female rock-fusion band Sira boldly pioneering a largely untapped psychedelic sound on the kingdom’s local scene.
After a warm-up by DJ Huffs, the Saudi band delivered a rousing performance at its first live show on Thursday night at The Warehouse in Riyadh to an audience of more than 200 people. The venue resonated with the unique sounds of the four-piece band: guitarist Haya, bassist Mish, Thing on drums, and Nora on lead vocals and keyboards. The audience was duly impressed.
“Throughout the performance, my phone was always in my pocket; “I never took it out, and I never took any pictures or any videos,” Nadir Al-Fassam, lead guitarist of the Saudi psychedelic punk band Sound of Ruby, told Arab News.
“I was just focusing on the performance. The truth is, not much happens.
Beyond her music, however, Seira’s greatest influence may lie in the influence she has had on other Saudi women.
Meesh said: “We haven’t launched yet and I’ve already had women come up to me and (say), ‘I’m picking up a device but I don’t feel like I’m really putting myself out there. I can get out.” Until I see you guys,’ or, ‘You guys inspire me.'”
The band hopes that their live debut will encourage others to take to the stage.
Haya said, “It’s still a male-dominated field globally, and even here … (as an) all-female band, we really want to support women to take more places out there.” Are.”
The band’s story began a year ago, when Haya met sisters Mish and Nora through Instagram and they got together for a jam session.
“Within a minute, we had written a song, and we were just leaving when Nora also came over and met us,” Haya told Arab News.
Nora said: “Me and Mish started playing music a long time ago. Since we are sisters, we always feel that something is missing. We were looking for a band and people to connect with through our music. We were on the hunt.
“When Haya approached Meesh, it was the perfect opportunity to form a band, especially since we have very similar musical tastes. We love uniqueness in music and we love variety in sound.
The drummer was the missing link, she said, and they met at a concert later that summer.
Meesh said: “I’ve played with a lot of guys before, but when I played with girls, I expressed myself freely in a way I’m not used to. I felt myself progress … playing together It helped us all grow ourselves as musicians, as people, as a band.
The group’s sound, which combines their interests in jazz, funk, soul and Turkish psychedelic rock, is reminiscent of 1970s artists such as Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin, but they make it their own by infusing it with Arabic and English influences. Adds spin.
Nora said, “When I started writing songs, I always wrote in English, but I wanted to be more in touch with my culture.”
“So, I really looked into the writing process and I loved it. The Arabic Fusha (Classical Arabic) is beautiful, and I wanted to incorporate it into more music. That’s when we merged the two languages together.”
Some of their songs also include ammiya, or colloquial Arabic, in an effort to modernize their sound while staying true to their roots and upbringing.
“We really wanted to represent an original sound,” Thing said. “It was really important for us to focus on our culture, mostly local Arabic sounds, and then mix it all together because we get influenced by a lot of things.”
The band actually played for the crowd, as they performed original tracks including “Woman,” “Junoon Almal” (“Money Craze or Greed”) and “Khaliq Bayd” (“Stay Away”) on Thursday night. Full accompanying free-flowing moves and headbanging, often inviting the audience to clap. Nora said in the middle of the song, “We’re about to take you guys to dreamland.”
The crowd went wild when Cera concluded her set with the track “Slapping”.
Nora said, “We were overwhelmed by the audience and their energy and how they felt the music.”
“I could see in their faces that they were putting up with it and it meant the world to me. It doesn’t stop here and it’s just fueling our fire for the future.”