News Brief

Emel’s Tunisian Folk Electronica Is a Symbol of Political Resistance

Tunisian singer Emel Mathlouthi announces her upcoming album and shares her latest, politically-charged single "Ensen Dhaif."

Emel Mathlouthi’s music has been a symbol of political resistance in her home country, Tunisia, ever since her song “Kelmti Horra (My Word Is Free)” became the anthem of the Arab Spring in 2010.


The song manifested itself as a poignant battle cry for those raising their voices in opposition of oppressive governments.

Emel is returning, with a new album Ensen and a resounding, percussion-filled lead single in tow.

“Ensen Dhaif” sees the singer’s emphatic lyrics and expressive delivery set atop pulsing production—a sound reminiscent of M.I.A’s brand of bold electro-rap. Emel points to Bjork, Massive Attack and James Blake as the inspirations for her unique intermix of Tunisian folk music, electronica and rock.

“Ensen Dhaif” is no less politically charged than the singer’s previous offerings. In an interview with Pitchfork, she describes the gutsy single as “a dedication to people who have to carry the weight and all the struggles so that a very small percentage can enjoy the power.”

Listen to the track and watch Emel’s album announcement clip below. Ensen is due out February 24 via Partisan Records.

We previously mentioned Emel in our piece about Rap and Resistance in North Africa, revisit the article here.

News Brief
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MTV Africa Music Awards Announces Top 20 'Listeners' Choice' Finalists

Focalistic, Tiwa Savage, DBN Gogo and more score a spot on the nominees list for the 'Listener's Choice' award at the 2021 MAMAs.

The 2021 MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) have released the first round of finalists for the exciting "Listeners' Choice" category. Twenty artists from 18 different African countries have made the first round of finalists, making it a highly contested category. South African artist Focalistic has secured a spot along with Durban's favourite female beat dropper, DBN Gogo and DJ Dinho. Nigerian songstress Tiwa Savage has also made it as a finalist alongside several other artists from across the continent.

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