Ghenwa Nemnom is a talented musician and electronic music artist who recently launched her own record label Astarte.
Her back catalogue includes music on record labels ranging from Melody of the Soul to Café De Anatolia and the first release on Astarte features one of her original tracks called “Story of a Battle”.
Story of a Battle also includes a remix version by Chris Zippel of Mango Alley and Embassy One.
Excited to learn more about the new release and launch of Astarte we invited Ghenwa Nemnom for this interview…
Hi Ghenwa Nemnom, I’d like to start by asking about your background in music. I understand you are a classically trained musician?
Yes, I am a classically trained musician and I started learning and playing the Qanun instrument at the age of 8 and studied at the National Conservatory in Beirut.
When did you first discover electronic music, and how did you become involved in making it?
I discovered electronic music in Ibiza in 2017 and I got inspired to mix it with ethnic melodies. It quickly connected with people, which motivated me to dig deeper and get more involved with electronic music.
Looking through your back catalogue, I can see you have often collaborated with others. Who are some of the people you have worked with, and why did you choose to work with those artists?
I started my very first collaboration with two Greek producers from Athens, Elias Fassos & Risk. They already had Oriental music influences that are similar to my own and the first ethno-electronic track we worked on in 2019 quickly got lots of streams. Things grew from there and later other producers from Europe started contacting me with collaboration requests. For example, Berlin based producer Felix Raphael, whose sound direction was more towards organic house. Soon afterwards came a collaboration with Swiss producer Dandara, who is famous for his unique synthetic sequences and dirty baselines, which blended so well with the Qanun’s organic sound. Now I find myself diversifying from ethnic downtempo to organic house music.
Talking only about electronic music, who are some of the artists that have influenced you, and why do you find them so inspiring?
I find most of the artists who include live instruments in their electronic live sets very inspiring, because it’s about improvisation and creating spontaneously, while being able to give a crowd a unique sonic experience. To name a few, I really like Satori, Bahramji, Monolink and Allen Hulsey.
Tell me about your live performances, do you DJ or perform your own tracks?
I perform my own tracks and create live tunes on the Qanun while my partner DJ mixes. My instrument is one of the hardest music instruments to perform on and it requires a lot of focus/concentration.
You recently dropped your new single “Story of a Battle”, and I’d love to learn more about the release plus its concept?
“Story of a Battle” is my aim to breakthrough with the Qanun’s unique sound by fusing it with electronic music. I always wanted to create space for modern classical music in the electronic and underground music scene, and it’s a concept I personally believe in. I feel if we merge tradition with modernity, we will be able to tell a great deal of music stories and attract listeners from all ages/backgrounds from across the globe.
The release is the debut of your new record label “Astarte” so I wanted to ask why you started your own imprint and what inspired the name?
Astarte came when I struggled to find a record label dedicated to releasing my specific genre of music. I want to create a platform that gathers all the music merging modern classical and oriental into deep house and organic house. Collecting anything that I think has groovy rhythms under one umbrella. I named it after the Phoenician Goddess ‘Astart’ who symbolises love and power. I am Lebanese and our roots are Phoenicians, and the label name holds a mission to explore the new, while preserving the traditional.
Story of a Battle features a remix by Chris Zippel, and I’d love to know your thoughts on his rework, plus why you chose him to rework the track?
I love Chris Zippel’s work in general, he has been mixing and mastering most of my tracks from day one. So, he knows exactly how my instrument sounds and how it should be mixed, so he tailors beats to perfectly fit my melodies.
What else is coming up in your schedule, do you have any exciting gigs or other new releases?
I have a lot of exciting gigs coming up, I am performing in Doha for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and I have a showcase residency at one of the most renowned Clubs in Dubai called, Surf Club. I also have a 2023 summer residency planned in Mykonos. As for upcoming releases, I have many coming up in the pipeline and will announce more details soon.
Thanks for talking with us, is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you for having me and thanks to everyone who has been buying and playing my music, I love you all!
You can buy a copy of Ghenwa Nemnom’s new release HERE