Sister Sounds Selection: Fatima Al Qadiri
Words: Jade French
WHO: Fatima Al Qadiri
WHAT: Electronic music with a intellect’s twist
WHERE: Senegal via New York
LYRICTRY: Very few. Lyrics are scattered, jargon, a mixture of languages and glitches
INFLU’S: Synth, ‘Muslim trance’, hip-hop and beyond…
WHY: Music to think to
Fatima Al Qadiri makes r&b inflected electronic music, both as a solo composer and as part of the group Future Brown. Raised by resistance fighters, she lived through the invasion of Kuwait and now makes music in the USA. She’s equal parts dirty dance beats and art world darling, having performed at New York’s PS1 MoMA and London’s ICA. Evidently not one for resting, Al Qadiri has also written on underground global pop for DIS magazine.
Her latest solo release Brute focuses on the power of protest. The first track, Endgame, places eerie beats sit underneath glitching police announcements, “leave your vehicals, leave your homes” it exhorts. Sirens wail, singular beats pierce the inbetween moments, skin crawls as you realise these are recordings from Ferguson. This is not a message of optimism – protest for Al Qadiri means pain, blows, violence and anticlimaxes. But she ultimately believes in the right to protest.
Overall, it’s powerful music. Moving from the gallery to club with, if not ease, then the knowledge that this is important, formidable and (at times) danceable stuff.