Being a professional DJ in the Arab region is something that has been often associated by men for as long as we can remember. Women with the same passion in the field got unequal opportunities to shine in the music industry as men did. But things have changed. Today, we are in a better era for women’s empowerment to call for their rights and to follow their passions unapologetically.
We see many examples of Arab women in their own industries, hyping people up behind their mixers and headphones on, paving the way for numerous other women to do the same, and we’ve made you a list of some iconic Arab female DJs to check out.
Nouf Sufyani is a self-taught electronic music DJ and producer from Saudi Arabia who goes by the name Cosmicat. She is the opposite of pigeonholed and is considered the first Saudi DJ woman in the limelight. One of Cosmicat’s significant achievements as a professional DJ was playing in one of the region’s largest festivals, MDL Beast Music Festival, with more than 400,000 attendants.
Lujain Albishi is another self-taught Saudi DJ woman who has been passionate about music from a young age. Lujain goes by the stage name Biirdperson. Intent on a music career, Biirdperson is making headway as a Saudi and as an Arab female DJ participating in major festivals and international campaigns making a mark in the music scene.
Sama’ Abdulhadi is the first Palestinian DJ and electronic music producer known as ‘the queen of the Palestinian techno scene.’ With a passion for music arising at an early age, she decided to take a different route and delve deeper into techno music to become one of the most iconic female DJs in the Middle East, touring around the world to perform and showcase her art. Her journey brought her to play alongside renowned artists at many remarkable concerts and festivals, like Coachella.
From earning a black belt in Karate to becoming a zookeeper, Ashibah eventually found her calling between the beats. The Egyptian-Danish DJ is making her mark in the electronic scene, captivating audiences worldwide with her House music and potent energy on stage. She played alongside luminaries like George City, Sonny Fodera, Lee Foss, and more. Besides being a phenomenal DJ, she is a composer and a producer.
Nooriyah is a multi-talented artist who has made a name for herself in the music and broadcast industry. She has played on some of the biggest stages in the UK and has been a presenter for BBC Studios, Westside, Balamii, and Plus 1 Radio. Nooriyah has been making waves with her unique style of mixing Middle Eastern and North African music with popular records, Trap music, and old-time classics. She believes that the Middle East and North African region is a major influence in hip-hop. Nooriyah’s DJ sets often include oriental rhythms and nostalgic tunes from artists such as Abdel Halim and Nancy Ajram, with inspiration from Syrian-American singer Lena Chamamyan. Nooriyah has created her platform to bring together her passion for music and her love for the Middle East and North African region. Her platform has allowed her to share her expertise, teach DJ classes for women of colour at Foundation FM, and make her New York and Rotterdam DJ debut. She continues to make her mark in the industry and bring her unique sound and perspective to the world.
DJ Nour Kamal has made a name for herself in the music industry with her unique approach to mixing and playing music. She has a knack for creating a unique blend of genres that seamlessly flow together, creating a unique and captivating sound. Her music has been described as a mix of house, old-school hip-hop, Latin, and Soca. Nour’s career took off in 2005 when she developed a loyal following with her eclectic mixes. She quickly gained a reputation for her innovative and exciting style. Nour has also kept busy as a producer, creating her own remixes and mashups. She has released a number of critically acclaimed mixtapes, remixes, and singles. Nour’s passion for music is evident in everything she creates, and her music is sure to captivate and inspire any listener.
Leila Moon is a shining example of how music can transcend borders and language barriers. Through her various musical projects, she has showcased her unique and diverse background, blending sounds from across the globe to create something truly captivating. Her commitment to her art and identity is inspiring, and her passion for her craft is evident in each of her performances. As a DJ, songwriter, and producer, specialising in Funk, Disco, Raï, Gnawa, Afrobeat, RnB, Mahraganat, Electronic, and House; Leila has been able to use her talent to bring people together, allowing them to experience a variety of cultures and sounds from around the world. Leila’s music proves that when we embrace our differences, we can create something beautiful.