The Elevator Podcast #6: Emel Mathlouthi

With us through the soundwaves – for the last podcast of 2020 – is Tunisian-born singer-songwriter, producer and artist Emel Mathlouthi. With her theatrical stage presence and arresting visuals, her live performances have captivated audiences ever since her debut album “Kelmti Horra”, released in 2012.

Grounding her honeyed vocals in heavy, distorted electronics, she has since released three rich and complex albums. Her latest album, ‘The Tunis Diaries’ is an 18-track LP full of lyrical and musical delicacies. As well as reshaping some of her past works, she also covered and paid a striking homage to the works of Nirvana, Black Sabbath and more. 

Her song “Ya Tounes Ya Meskina” [Poor Tunisia], with lyrics talking about how “Fear resides in their bones, being mute is their lot”, was snuck into DJ’s selections on the underground music scene in Tunis in the late noughties. During the Tunisian revolution in 2011, she’d sing her powerful “Kelmti Horra” (My word is free) at every opportunity she had. Invoking the lyrics of Tunisian poet Amine Al-ghozzi, she highlighted injustice endured by the people, and with it, made the song become synonymous with the revolution. 

Come and find out about what Emel has been up to and the climate around her first album at a time when Tunis went into a revolution. We also delve into production of her latest lockdown album ‘The Tunis Diaries’ and hear about her upcoming plans. And as always, Emel will select and share some of her favorite tracks with us.

Podcast Track List

Beverly-Glenn Copeland: Ever New 

Emel Methlouthi: Stranger 

Emel Methlouthi: Everywhere We Looked Was Burning

La macanita: Adios Tristeza 

Explore Emel Mathlouthi’s music and works further on:

Spotify   Bandcamp   YouTube  Instagram