had a few close calls with bombs going off," recalls Nadina of her
childhood growing up in war-torn Lebanon. "Wherever we drove, my parents
made sure we didn't look outside the window because they didn't want us to have
photographic images of the war in our heads. I know people died nearby in some
instances. It was really hard at times."
by war, danger, struggle, and hardship, Nadina both found and gave solace in
music. Her father, who was a folkloric and ballet dancer,
recognized her talent very early on and encouraged her to sing and dance,
fostering a lifelong passion for the arts in the process. When she was
five-years-old, Nadina became the youngest member of a traditional Lebanese
1986, Nadina became the first child from Lebanon and the Arab world to ever
participate at the Zecchino D'oro UNICEF festival in Italy. The contest
required participants to perform a song of their choosing translated to Italian
without any prior knowledge of the language. Delivering a powerful rendition of
"Vola, Palombella" [Fly Bird of Peace] to a television audience of
over 25 million worldwide, judges awarded the young singer a gold medal, and
the song became something of an international phenomenon. Instantly, her voice
stood out, and she swiftly embraced the stage at charity concerts and functions
across her native Lebanon and Internationally.
was in the midst of civil war, and I got the chance to do something
positive," she goes on. "I was able to unite people through music,
and I realized there was a deep power inherent in that. I tried to utilize the
spotlight to do good."
her star continued to rise, Nadina opened and closed The Giffoni Film
Festival—the European equivalent of The Academy Awards—merely a year later.
Among the 10,000 attendees giving Nadina a standing ovation, an encounter with
one audience member still sticks out for her.
smiles, "Vanessa Redgrave actually asked for my autograph. She was so nice
and complimentary. I still can't believe it to this day."
after, Nadina was handpicked to perform at the Banner of Peace Festival in
Bulgaria where 150 countries met to promote world peace. Nadina's invigorating
performance ignited a standing ovation, and ambassadors shook her hand
one-by-one as she exited the stage.
in 1989, violence hit too close to home once and for all. After a truly
terrifying encounter while coming back from a television interview, Nadina's
parents decided that the family should relocate to Canada.
the relocation, Nadina began to pursue another passion—swimming. She fractured
her back at the age of thirteen but still managed to get her National
standings. She was ranked third in British Columbia and top seven in Canada.
After swimming five years with an injury, she retired. In 1997, she temporarily
returned to the sport to represent Lebanon in the Pan-Arab Olympics, winning
five bronze medals in the process.
turned her attention to coaching swimming, and also spent time as a computer
programmer/web developer, but music always beckoned to her, just like it had
when she was a child, so she once again began to create and cultivate original
2008, Nadina passed a demo along to Nettwerk C.E.O. Terry McBride, and soon
after, she joined the label's family. Her 2012 debut album encapsulates her
story, diversity, and dynamic myriad of talents. Crafting a sound of her own,
Nadina sings in
—English, Lebanese, Egyptian, and Classical Arabic on the
record and distills a variety of textures and moods into her music.
her style, she comments, "It's an amalgamation of North American and
Middle Eastern sounds. I wanted to merge classical Arabic strings/instruments
and modern Western beats. I tried to bridge all of these styles so the music
doesn't lean far one way or the other."
combination comes to life in the record's first single, "Shou Baddou
Yseer." Hypnotic strings entwine with airy, ethereal production for
cinematic sonic bliss while Nadina's angelic vocals take hold. About the song,
she elaborates, "The phrase 'Shou Baddou Yseer' basically means what is
going to be will be. The song is about confidence and believing in yourself.
You give all you can and allow nature to take its course. You let it out and
leave it to the world. You accept and face the trials of life."
track, "Sorrows & Goodbyes," directly delves into Nadina’s
childhood and the war surrounding her. It's an intense, yet invigorating track
colored by the Nay flute and Nadina's vibrant lyrical storytelling as she croons,
"Flashbacks of the war appear in dreams."
about my experiences in the war," she reveals. "I wrote the song so
it could apply to other people's experiences as well. It brings me back to that
time, specifically when I could feel the bombing. When I'd perform back then, I
could feel what was going on outside. The song also reflects on others who had
to fight and how many people lost their loved ones."
turmoil to love, the record traverses a scope of emotions as diverse as the
soundscapes themselves. Never losing sight of both of her homes, Nadina will
even release separate versions of the album worldwide.
Nadina crosses both cultural and aural barriers and creates something entirely
her own with this debut. To celebrate this distinct background, the
album will be released in two versions: English and Arabic.
life experiences have brought me to the point of getting this album out,"
concludes Nadina. "I've excelled in all of these different avenues, and
they've made me a better person. They've also helped my music and writing. I'd
love for people to appreciate and enjoy the music, and I hope it inspires. It's
a milestone for me, and I'll cherish it forever."
undoubtedly will as well.
Bio written by Rick Florino