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 & 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. They have been a highlight of showcase festival PMX in Ramallah and of Amsterdam Dance Event in 2018. Concerts in Europe followed both headlining and as a support for 47SOUL, Acid Arab and Mashrou’Leila. Now signed to Crammed Discs, in 2019 they’ll release an EP and their first full-length-album.
Septima Zenobia was the queen of Palmyra, she ruled over the Levant in the 3rd century AD. Naming the band after her reflects Nasser & Isam’s wish to create contemporary music which draws from ancient Levantine roots, yet can appeal to audiences worldwide. 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, and is being released in April on Acid Arab Records, the French crew’s imprint hosted by Crammed Discs. Zenobia are now signed to the label, and their first album is currently in the making.
Zenobia will be touring throughout the year, be sure to catch their next show, wildness & excitement guaranteed!
Nasser Halahlih - Ableton Push, synthesizer
Isam Elias - keyboards, synths, drum pad