EP 8: Badiaa Bouhrizi aka Neysatu

Emerging from the Tunisian underground and bringing a neo-soul wave with socially conscious lyrics, Badiaa Bouhrizi, also known as Neysatu, is a powerful female vocalist and songwriter that packs a punch. She forged her own style by skilfully bringing together jazz, soul, reggae and electronic elements  while adding her sensitive, socially-aware and politically engaged lyrics. 

At the age of seven, Badiaa started off as a soloist in a local choir in Tunis and later joined the Tahar Haddad choir which dedicated their work to classical Arabic music forms such as Andalusian muwashah and the North African Malouf. From classical Arabic she went on to explore rock covers with her band, Black Angels, and later with Tunisian Ethno-Rock band, Dayrib. Having studied musicology in Paris meant that she experimented with a wide range of genres, and began to dig deeper into her Tunisian roots, specifically the Amazigh Berber music of native North African inhabitants characterized by pentatonic scales and African rhythms. 

Since the revolutions of 2011 Badiaa has shared her music on stage, delighting audiences in each show with the magic of the moment brought in by her interaction with the audience’s energy. Following a decade of music composition and production, Neysatu has proven to be a true hybrid of multiple cultural heritages that while drawing inspiration from African music, reggae, classical Arabic music as well as the new British scene,  wishes to remain free of classification. 

Neysatu is the free spirit of authentic music coming from the heart, resonating with the words of the oppressed, underrepresented and marginalised. From singing with Youssou N’Dour to receiving the 2019 Agha Khan Music Award for Social Inclusion, and her latest residency at Cité Internationale des Arts, join us in this month’s podcast as we talk to Badiaa. Reviewing  ten years of her musical work, we hear more about her two upcoming albums Kahrumusiqa (coming out on Akuphone) and Love Revenge, as well as discover her early musical influences and defining soundtracks.


Podcast Track List

Cheb Khaled: La liberté 

Badiaa Bouhrizi: Assr أسر

Badiaa Bouhrizi: The Limits of Control

Sabreen: The Sea البحر

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