From Chicago to London, Berlin to Beirut, the sound has been ever-present in bars, clubs, and airwaves around the world and with artists like Aziza reworking disco with her own Arabic interpretation, there’s no sign the disco ball will ever stop spinning.
Her latest single ‘Mn Hadid’ may be recognised as a glossy, electrified cover of ‘Bang Bang’ by Sonny Bono. But everyone will recognise the meeting of disco and Arabic influences as ‘Mn Hadid’ creates an irresistible urge to dance – or at least tap your feet furiously to the beat.
Beneath the disco and sequins and glitter balls, however, lies a deeper message, says Aziza.
The song carries a strong message of giving an empowering voice for women or anyone who lives in fear and accepts abuse in all its forms.
It’s about reclaiming one’s power and resisting all forms of abuse that many women continue to face. It is about overcoming your fear and finding the inner strength that exists inside of us; strength made of steel.
Fittingly, Aziza wears a metal arm guard in the ‘Mn Hadid’ video – a glittery metal arm guard, it is disco after all – that could be seen to represent that inner strength.
Disco provides the perfect vehicle to get Aziza’s message over. It’s nostalgic but futuristic and in the right hands, timeless.
‘Mn Hadid’ is just the start of Aziza’s disco journey with her second album, Disco Drama, set to be an ‘all-Arabic disco tribute to the golden days of the 70s and 80s.’
But there’s also another reason why Aziza decided to turn to disco. After the depths of Covid, the Beirut port blast, Aziza wanted to immerse herself in ‘pure nostalgia.’
“I decided to do this album after being silent for a while, witnessing the world going mad around me,” She explained.
So “Disco Drama” is a journey in time, a time machine that transcends us back to the fun good old days of the ’80s, to the magic endless nights of Studio 54, yet still observant of our modern-day dark dramatic events.
Aziza is a Lebanese singer and songwriter whose musical world combines classical Arabic Tarab with Pop music.
She’s performed across the world including in Mexico, Italy, Paris, London and extensively across the Middle East.
Aziza has also collaborated with Anghami for her 2018 World Cup track “3alamna Wahed” which translates as “Our World is One”.
Aziza’s love for music and the performing arts started at the age of 3 singing alongside her father at events and participating in school and university musicals.
With a wide Classical Arabic repertoire of songs, Aziza is naturally drawn towards interpreting and adapting music to the contemporary sounds of her surroundings.
As-Safir newspaper described her as the “reviving sound for classical oriental and tarab music.”
She released her self-titled debut album in 2014 which features a mix of sounds inspired from the region including Chaabi Egyptian and Lebanese folklore.
She followed that by covering the popular Egyptian song “Salat el Zein” in 2016 before releasing an original track called “Orkos Maaya” two years later written by Mohammad Rifai and composed by Mohammad Yehya.
That was then followed by “Waynik Ya Beirut,” a track motivated by the trauma caused by the horrific Beirut port explosion.
The same year Azisa wrote ‘In My Own Skin’ for Paris fashion brand AZ Factory in honour of late designer Alber Elbaz. Like ‘Mn Hadid,’ the track focused on female empowerment, celebrating female strength, confidence and inclusivity.
“My performances are generated by my public. I feed off their energy to give them the best I am. That’s what makes each show special and unique to me,” says Aziza.