Saturday 4 July 2020
Arabic pop melodies set to pumping electronic beats

Zenobia are at the forefront of the new, vibrant Palestinian electronic music movement, originating in parallel between Haifa and Ramallah, scattered yet gradually more unified.

The band consists of Nasser Halahlih, a pioneer who has been at the core of the scene since its early days, and fleet-fingered keyboardist Isam Elias.

Combining Arabic pop melodies, Palestinian/Syrian dabke rhythms, synths and powerful beats with occasional dubby flavours, Zenobia’s hypnotic live performances have made a big impression over a short period of time.

The band started performing in 2018 and has already appeared in the Middle East, Paris, Berlin, London, Amsterdam, South Korea and Brazil.

The duo is named after Septimia Zenobia, a third century queen of the Palmyrene Empire in Syria. Perhaps the name reflects the duo’s wish to create contemporary music that draws from ancient Levantine roots. It’s probably also a statement on the growing role of women in the region.

Zenobia’s self-titled debut EP was produced in the band’s studio in Shefa Amr (a small town situated between Haifa and Nazareth), mixed in Paris by Acid Arab.

The duo is currently working on their debut full length. Already now you can check out the first single, “Desert Hafla” if you want to cut a leg to the Palestinian dance sounds.