Exclusive: Artist NOURI Gets Personal and Dishes on Her Songs, Dreams, and So Much More

A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of sipping coffee with none other than the fabulous NOURI at Circle Cafe. We dished on her dreams, songs, continuing her education, and her journey as a refugee. And guess what? The universe has aligned, and just in time for her new song drop, hitting the #1 spot on iTunes in NZ, and getting added to not one, not two, but four playlists on Anghami! Naturally, I had to release our exclusive interview right alongside her epic rise to the top. Cheers to NOURI and her unstoppable success!

Scroll down to read the interview…

Uthhub: How would you describe yourself? Who is NOURI?

NOURI: NOURI is a Syrian refugee. She’s Kurdish. She grew up in New Zealand. She loves to sing and to create literally any music that’s possible.

UH: What inspires you?

N: Absolutely everything! My amazing mother is a huge inspiration to me, and coming from humble beginnings has also been a driving force in my life. This is what keeps me going, especially when I think back to where I came from.


UH: You said that everything is possible. Did you see that you would be here right now? Like, did you imagine this happening?

N: As a young girl, I just had this unwavering belief that anything was possible even in the tough situations my family and I faced. Looking back now, it’s wild to see how far I’ve come.

UH: How does your songwriting get impacted by how you grew up?

N: Well, it’s based on life experiences. So I usually write songs about heartbreaks and things like that. And then sometimes I’ll also write like there’s a song I wrote called I’ll Be There. And it comes from heartbreak, but it’s also like a love song. And it’s also viewed as how I was brought up too. So it’s kind of just like a mix of everything.

UH: Tell us about what you’re planning to do for 2023!

N: So 2023, I’m trying to be very consistent with dropping music. I want to be dropping songs every four weeks for as long as possible until my EP comes out in June, which will be about five songs. I’m just trying to drop as much music as possible this year because I feel like, in the past, I’ve just waited in between.

It wasn’t consistent at all. And I felt like, why? I’m a musician. There’s so much thought that goes into it. And artists are such perfectionists that they want everything to be so perfect. But it’s like, what are we going to do? Just keep it in our folder? So I’m like, no. YOLO.

I’m actually speaking with a Kurdish artist at the moment, his name is Naveed. And we’re talking about doing something. And he actually wants me to come out to one of his shows to open up for him, which is great.

UH: Is music the way you communicate with your people?

N: I can’t communicate without music. Because I have a hard time saying how I feel. I pour your soul into the lyrics. I pour everything into it. If someone wants to know how I’m feeling, listen to my songs.

UH: when was the biggest time where you were like, wow, I’m actually impacting someone?

N: I always say this one. It was when I released my first song, Where Do We Go From Here? And I got a video on my Instagram DM, and it was from the Syrian refugee camp where I was born in.

They sent me a video of them all listening to my song. And I was crying like a baby. It was just so surreal because, at that moment, I didn’t realize how big my impact was. I always thought I knew, but I never knew it would actually happen. And it was just such a 360 moment because I’m out here living my dream and these people are still in the camp. And I was there once.

UH: If you weren’t a singer, what would you be?

N: I’d be creating Apps. I actually love computer science. I studied it for two years. As you know, I have a Middle Eastern mom, so No degree, no daughter. I was trying to do singing for so long, and she was like, look, just study for a little bit.

For two years, I was doing computer science. And I was getting straight A’s. I was dedicated. Because I did love it as well.And then, in my last year, I had to choose. Do I go to LA now? Or do I finish my degree? And I was like, look, my degree is always going to be there. I can finish it anytime. But opportunities don’t come everyday so I have to go with this.

UH: How was your mom’s reaction to that?

N: She was like what are you doing? And I’m like, just trust me. All you have to do is just give me one year. Trust me. If it doesn’t work, I’ll go back. And then she’s like, fine. And she’s very supportive of what you do right now. So supportive now, yeah. But before, it was very hard for her. Yeah, I mean, basic. So much. Like going to LA by myself.

Through your path or like a journey of becoming a singer, what are the obstacles you met?

Rejection, self-doubt, just having people saying you can’t do it. I’ve been through having no one, getting rejected at labels, being told you’re not good enough, being told you’re not what we’re looking for.

The thing is, if you’re ever in that position in any industry, you need to remember that what ever anyone says is just an opinion and that’s how they look at things. You’re one person and that’s one door. And there are a million other doors.

UH: What advice would you give to young people who aspire to pursue their dreams?

N: I would say to just go for it. Life is too short to not chase after what you truly want. It’s going to be hard, and there are going to be obstacles. But you just have to keep pushing through and never give up. And most importantly, stay true to yourself and never compromise who you are.

UH: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I would have sold out Madison Square Garden. I’m scared of marriage, but I guess marriage. I’ll find the right person. If I don’t find the right person in 10 years, I’m definitely going to end up alone. Before that though, sell out Madison Square Garden. Be a global artist.

I want to start a couple of brands. But I really want to make an authentic one where it’s something different and not the same thing. And something targeted at the Middle East. I already have some ideas.

I also want to start a foundation and be able to just do humanitarian work. I believe that everyone deserves a chance to live a good life, and I want to do my part in making that happen. I want to be able to do this for the rest of my life and to inspire others to do the same. At the end of the day, that’s what really matters to me.

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