By Yasmin Reda| Cosmopolitan Middle East
Poet and rapper, Felukah (فلوكا) is an Egyptian-American upcoming rapper who, through her words and song, has reached many people’s hearts. She became a inspiration for many younger teenagers and became the rapper that many Egyptians needed.
Felukah, 22, started her career as a singer when she was 20. Meaning in only two years, she has made such an impact and difference to music lovers in the Arab world and beyond.
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As an Egyptian and a woman who raps, Felukah faced some societal issues along the road while she was trying to prove herself as a singer. But did that stop her?
Her songs were playlisted on Spotify, and audiences from London, Berlin, and Brazil were among her listeners. She was even a cover star of the Arab X playlist.
We’ve had the opportunity to catch up with the rising star…
Cosmo ME: Tell us about your EP (extended play) Yansoon. What was the inspiration behind the song?
Felukah: The inspiration behind the three songs I put on there was just like a tying connection to Egyptian Heritage, which is very comforting and soothing. Calling it Yansoon, kept that Arabic touch to the music. That is probably one of my favourite things I created, just because it was called something that our mothers always gave us to fix our stomachs or something so calming. I wanted to find a soothing element and put it in the music.
Cosmo ME: How did you feel when you found out that Yansoon EP made such an impact on your audience?
Felukah: I don’t know, I was shocked to find that people are even listening to my music. I was like yalla; I’m just going to put the song on Spotify and see what happens. It was my close circle of friends that would carry it on to other circles. So when it hit, it made me feel exceptional.
Cosmo ME: How does it feel inspiring a new wave of Egyptian women?
Felukah: I’m still in shock. Honestly, I feel happy every time I get a nice message:’ I tried to rap for you, or can you please check my freestyle.’ It is nice to see somebody do it differently, that they can be open and confident. I hope to inspire people to be themselves, you know, in a way that we haven’t been able to do in the past.
Cosmo ME: Talk to me about some of the issues you faced when trying to prove yourself as a singer, especially that you are an Arab who lived most of her life in America? How did Americans see you?
Felukah: I’ve had issues in the states where there is still a barrier of understanding in the way that they first see me as a girl, as an Egyptian, as an Arab before they see me as an artist. It’s very damaging. I mean, now I’m starting to feel more appreciated by different people, definitely from the European side, because I think they understand a lot of this multiculturalism more than Americans.
Cosmo ME: Do you feel more supported by the Arab world?
Felukah: Definitely. They see me in a way as ‘ that could be me, that could be my sister.’ So I feel that I am more relatable there.
Cosmo ME: How does it feel to have your songs listed on Spotify?
Felukah: This changed my life. The fact that I can see who is listening now and where they are listening to them! My top audience is from Cairo, London, and Berlin. I also have listeners from Rio De Janeiro and Brazil. It opened so many doors.
Cosmo ME: How old were you when you started making music?
Felukah: I started making music when I was 20. I’m a poet; I love writing, you know, song lyrics, poems, and stories, but I never thought I’d be a rapper or a musician, and it just happened. Now freestyle is my favourite thing because I practice it a lot. Its been two years since I started making music, so I’m excited to keep learning.
Cosmo ME: Tell me about your new album Dream 23, is there a story behind it?
Felukah: Dream 23 was a mistake. On my birthday in February, I was celebrating, and I was like, yes, 23!!! And my friend was like you are 22, and I was like what?! So I just went with that concept, let me be 23. Dream 23 was supposed to be an album about everything I imagined that 23 is ganna be how my life would be like. I’m a dreamer; I’m an ambitious person; as an Egyptian woman, I have so much in my imagination that I never saw happen for us.
Cosmo ME: What was the inspiration behind Ask the Birds in Cairo that it is a top song for many people?
Felukah: I was bird watching with my family on the Nile, and I’m looking at these different birds migrating, it was crazy, and I was like how these birds feel migrating from Cairo to Aswan to Portugal, etc. and to know about how to get high spiritually, we should ask the birds, I mean they are up, they are flying, they are high in the sky, lets us ask them what’s it like to be alive and liberating high.
Cosmo ME: Also, I want to know why did you choose the name Felukah?
Felukah: I was looking for something that sounds Arabic, but it can be pronounced in the western world. Even when my mom was choosing our names, she wanted to make sure that we had access to these two worlds, so she decided names such as Sara, Hanna, Layla, and names to change into American names. I then asked my mom to find me a name for my music, and we started thinking. We had ‘misk,’ and then once she was like, what do you feel about felukah? I was like, wow! And all the philosophy came around it… all she did was give me this name, and I created this whole world. I’m still building this world, and whenever I get an idea, I always think of doing it with the felukah boats. It just came together like its meant to be.
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My 12-track trip to the moon&back. a call out to future me & us & This & maybe we’ll be just fine. safe journey space travelers.. pack light… come home abundant 💜 Dream 23 🏹 Streaming Now @aburecordings // artwork by @rana.hemdan // album mixed & mastered by @mostafazaghloul ✨
Cosmo ME: What are some of your future goals?
Felukah: I want to keep exploring my interests. Once COVID ends, I want to go to different Egyptian cities, such as Aswan, Sinai, and meet the people there. I want to sit with them, record their stories, experience their folktales, and everything that is part of the Egyptian culture. I think it’s okay because we have a lot of history sitting there, and I want to bring them to the world and bring them to the urban culture.
Read from source Cosmopolitan Middle East