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Rotana was born and raised in Saudi Arabia before moving to the United States only four years ago. Soon afterwards, she began her music career stronger than she ever could in Saudi Arabia. These unique life experiences gives the self-described angsty singer-songwriter inspiration for her punchy lyrics.
The traditionally conservative country has many restrictive laws against women, a defining part of the culture that has inspired Rotana as both a musician and as a human.
“I make music because I believe this world needs more people that are operating out of intuition rather than operating out of societal obligations and expectations and pressures. That’s something I think my region of the world especially needs and this region of the world needs to understand that we want it as much as everyone else. We’re humans.”
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Rotana makes the writes of jams that makes you want to get up and bob your head to the beat. Her incredible vocal range also definitely helps. Rotana jumps from low to high notes within just seconds in her single The Cure , which now has over 15,000 views on YouTube.
As you can probably tell by now, Rotana is extremely well-spoken. Just listening to her speak about her passions made me motivated to go out and make a difference. Her music idols are all strong women who inspire her to “make a statement about something bigger” than just themselves: Alanis Morrissette, Florence Welch (from Florence + The Machine) and M.I.A.
Despite this power woman stance, Rotana sings about more than just her experiences growing up in Saudi Arabia. One of her most popular songs, Daddy, started out as a ballad against her ex-boyfriend but soon turned it into a reflection of her personal experiences of cultural restrictions. There have been personal setbacks in her life, from both herself and from the negatives influences around her.
Throughout the songwriting process, “Daddy” went from a name for her boyfriend to the name of her bullies who try to force her to conform to societal expectations and restrictions.
“For me, the biggest “Daddy” of all, the biggest bully, is in my head.”
Rotana does not plan on releasing any albums in the foreseeable future, although she has enough content to create three full length albums. This coming year, she plans to release a single every month on her socials starting on May 5 with the release of Over You.
I just turned to my roommate and said, “Give it a year. She’ll make it on Billboard.” I’ve said that many times, and I have yet to be wrong.
You can find Rotana on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, SoundCloud and Spotify.
Find me at your local concert!