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Premiere: Meer Shares Debut EP 'Kushari' + Interview

Premiere: Meer Shares Debut EP 'Kushari' + Interview

Photo by Frances Carter / Wednesday 20th December, 2017 10:56AM

Auckland hip hop artist Meer, aka Reem Nabhani of rap duo HEAVY, dropped a number of killer singles in 2017, both solo and in collaboration with Auckland producer Darko. Meer has now shared her much anticipated debut collection Kushari, a six song EP of tunes tackling issues surrounding the artist's own identity as an Arab person, as well as LGBTQI and mental health issues. Nabhani is unapologetic in addressing challenging topics, previously released tracks such as 'Rotten' have been accompanied by trigger warnings for sexual abuse and domestic violence. The artist's live shows are equally powerful, with Meer's evident love of hip hop shining through and burning up the dancefloor. Nabhani kindly took time out to chat about her debut collection, listen to Kushari and read on for a short interview with Meer...

Hi Reem, congratulations on your new EP. How was your show over the weekend in Wellington (w/ Alexa Casino & Brown Boy Magik + GG)?

It was such a dope night, nice to be performing in front of a crowd that hasn’t heard my music yet haha.

Your EP's called Kushari right? Is this your debut solo collection?

Yeah look up kushari, it’s my favourite Arabic dish, it has everything you could want in it, which is a bit like me (lol). It is my first solo project yes.

You've talked before about how your music is about your own experience as an Arab individual, Arab LGBTQI and mental health. Your previous single 'Rotton' talks about about sexual abuse and domestic violence. What themes are you exploring with Kushari?

I am exploring all those things, I am mainly venting, and expressing how I felt, how I feel now. Towards the end of the EP I have a couple tracks that are about getting back up, and doing everything you can to better yourself, which is what I am doing daily. I feel unstoppable.

Do all your songs draw on autobiographical experience?

Yeah man definitely, I can only speak on behalf of myself and my own experiences, it just so happens, a thousand plus others are going through the same.

You perform live solo, and as a duo with Liam Dargaville in HEAVY. Have you always made & performed music solo?

I have always written solo, my lyrics come out of my head mainly around 2:00am - 6:00am, I’m up pretty late just repeating the same song over 'n' over till I get it right. Then Liam comes along and just makes these incredible beats, he’s my favourite producer in Auckland at the moment, no one does shit like him.

Have there been new challenges making and playing solo?

Not really, I like doing my own shit, I have more control over everything, and I like that.

You're uncompromising in tackling challenging subject matter with your songs, and your live shows are really powerful and also really fun. How do you maintain that balance?

I have no idea man, I mix my love for rap, and my trauma together, and you get what you see on stage.

Are there any artists that you're finding to be inspirational at the moment?

Shit, too many, Melodownz is such a lyrical master I feel like he just breaths raps, Villette’s music makes me feel super sexual, I love it. The list goes on...

What have you got planned for the coming year? You're playing at Auckland City Limits with Heavy right?

If I told you I’d have to kill you. Auckland City Limits we comin for u watup.

What do you get up to when you're not making music?

Oh I don’t know, just weird Arab shit like chill, hangout with friends, go boxing, make food. Super outrageous things, I’m a mystery.

'Kushari' is out now via Soundcloud, Bandcamp, iTunes and Spotify. You can catch Meer live on Saturday 6th January at Auckland's Portland House.


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Auckland City Limits 2018
Sat 3rd Mar 11:00am
Western Springs, Auckland