Emel Mathlouthi is a bad ass. Even before 2010, her music was banned from radio and TV due to her dissident songs and growing popularity.
Despite this, her track “Kelmti Horra” went viral online during the 2011 uprisings in the Arab world, to which she subsequently released her international debut album of the same name with a dynamism of tracks ranging from the more industrious “Ma Ikit” (Not Found) to folkier “Dhlaem” (Tyrant).
I was worried for a bit when I hadn’t heard anything new in a couple years, but like all good rebels, she’s back with a notable maturity and strength releasing two tracks on her SoundCloud.
“Ensen Dhaif” (Weak Person) is highly rhythmic, pushed along Arabic percussions and a nay that are both digitized to add a sonic texture that is edgy yet familiar to those of us from the Arab world.
Some days later she released “A L’Infini”, a track in French that is also very percussive, electronic, and dark making me hope a new album is in the pipeline.
Edit: “And yes a new album is coming fall 2016,” Emel tells us.