Los Angeles-based, New Zealand native, NOURI hasn’t followed a simple path to success. Born in a Syrian refugee camp following the bombing of her family’s home in Kurdistan, NOURI and her family were granted refugee status in New Zealand – the country where she grew up, and also where her new single, “Where Do We Go From Here” shot to number 5 on the iTunes chart the very same day it was released.
NOURI’s track features despairing guitars and a thumping beat alongside her powerful, emotionally-charged vocals. She said that the track was about “the struggle of wanting to be with someone you care for deeply for but at the same time wanting to let them go because the timing isn’t right.”
We spoke with the rising star about how she got discovered, her hopes and fears for her career, and her EP, set for release next year.
How has your early life as a refugee influenced your music? It’s influenced my music a lot. It’s allowed me to really be true to who I am in my music and lets my emotions really tell the stories I’m telling.
How did you get discovered? I would upload covers of myself on YouTube and Instagram. I sent one cover to Brian Kennedy, a Grammy award-winning producer who has worked with Rihanna, Chris Brown and Lady Gaga and he reached out to me and told me I needed to come to LA…and that’s exactly what I did.
What was the inspiration behind your single “Where Do We Go From Here”? The inspiration behind the song is about having feelings for someone and wanting to be with them but it’s not the right time. It’s the internal struggle of wanting to be with someone you care deeply for but at the same time wanting to let them go.
You’re currently working on an EP set for release next year. What do you want to communicate about yourself through the record? I want everyone to be able to understand who I am as an artist through my sound and my words.
What are your hopes and fears for your career? I dream of performing for thousands of people and hope to achieve this in the near future. I fear being labelled and placed in a box because of my background, but at the same time, I am proud of where I have come from and will not shy away from it.