Introducing Interview: Nadine Khouri

London-based British Lebanese musician and songwriter Nadine Khouri has recently played a number of notable performances at some of London’s most prestigious venues including The Union Chapel, Cecil Sharp House and Royal Festival Hall, and has just released her new album. Produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey, Giant Sand), the album was recorded in a darkly lit Georgian vaulted basement at Toybox Studios in Bristol.

We caught up with Nadine to find out more… 

Hi Nadine, how are you today?
Hello! I’m very well, thank you.

You’re about to release your wonderful debut album – The Salted Air – is there an ongoing theme running throughout the collection of songs?
The album deals with themes of loss and transformation to a certain extent; and the desire to trace a trajectory back to an “original” state of being or presence, perhaps.

Out of all the tracks on the album, which is your favourite, and why?
I think ‘The Salted Air’ could be my favourite. It was one of the first ones I wrote and captured the feeling I was going for. Jean-Marc Butty (cymbals, ambient sounds) & Adrian Crowley (backing vocal) also added some last-minute unexpected overdubs in the studio, which was really nice.

You recorded the new album with legendary producer John Parish (PJ Harvey) – how was that experience?
It was great. We recorded at Toybox Studios in Bristol, which was lovely. I was bit nervous going into the session but learned a lot from working with John and watching him work. He’s just so good at what he does.

Your ethereal dream-pop sound has been compared to the likes of Stina Nordenstam and Mazzy Star, but who would you say are you main musical influences?
Jeff Buckley, Elvis, Lhasa de Sela, Nina Simone, Low, Leonard Cohen, Sparklehorse, PJ Harvey – there are many!

And what inspires you to write your songs?
Lots of things really… For this album in particular, people I’d met, books, old films, the sea… A lot of it was tapping into a subconscious, dream-like state – memories & sensations – more than anything else.

You’ve performed in some of London’s most prestigious venues, as well as across Europe, what has been your favourite gig to date, and why?
Oh, it’s hard to say – there’ve been a few! I really enjoyed performing at the SC4M festival in Winchester over the summer, as I had my whole band with me and could feel the audience was very open and warm; the sound was great too, which made it easy and a joy to play.

Can you describe your sound in three words?
Really no idea.

And, finally, besides the release of your album, what does 2017 have in store for you?
Hopefully lots of dates. And some new songs. And some sleep. That would be great.

Huge thanks to Nadine for answering our questions! 

The Salted Air, the new album from Nadine Khouri, is out now.

Mari Lane

Mari Lane

Editor, London. Likes: Kathleen Hanna, 6Music, live music in the sunshine. Dislikes: Sexism, pineapples, the misuse of apostrophes.