Born, raised, and based in Bagneux, outside the southern périphérique of Paris, Sabrina Bellaouel lives between worlds. At home, her Algerian heritage and Muslim faith have fused tight familial bonds and a keen sense of history and culture; as “Berbers”, she speaks French and Arabic. In her headphones, she finds comfort in the sparse experimentalism of Radiohead and romantic tales of Jill Scott. On the hot club dance floors of Paris, driving house beats connect her to her body.
Sabrina blends classic neo-soul and silken R&B blend with club electronics. Tender harmonies are sung and rhymes are spoken in English, French and Arabic, exploring love, faith and identity. On her debut album Al Hadr on InFiné, Sabrina taps into myriad influences – from religion to spirituality, astrology to club culture, romance, the body and self love – creating a balance between places, identities and sounds.
Sabrina Bellaouel presents her debut album on Wednesday, 07.06 at the Kantine am Berghain.
1. I am a big fan of Lamberto Bava’s whole filmography. Especially the mini series.
2. LOVE stands for « Living On Valued Energy ».
3. I use my dictaphone to record me sleep talking then use them as lyrics to my songs.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
My female lineage of Algerian warriors
2. How and when did you get into making music?
At some point in my journey, I realized that to be able to make the music I wanted to hear, I needed to interfere with the birth of the song. So I started to produce, so the music would have my DNA from the start. That being said, I also love collaborating, sharing ideas.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
« Who is Jill Scott? » JILL SCOTT
« A force de vivre » WALLEN
« Loop finding jazz records » Jan Jelinek
« Earfood » Roy Hardgrove Quintet
« Amok » Atoms for peace
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
A very cold February 2018, banging Turkish food & the world most creative scene for electronic hybrid music lovers.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
After home, the François Mitterrand park that I see from my balcony. A very peaceful place where I had my first kiss & heartbreak.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I would be a silence player.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
A recently found a vinyle of Pierre Abelard who was a French monk and musician from the Middle age. He was in love of a lady called Héloïse which was prohibited. Eventually, she became his muse and they are now buried together in the Père Lachaise cemetery of Paris. Title is « planctus david, jephta, o quanta qualia ».
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
The best experience I had as a performer was in 2017 for the release party of my 2nd EP « illusion ». It was in my friend’s club in central Paris and people snag with me all along. It was warm and cheerful.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
In my music, technology is fun tool to create the environment that I want my audience to experience. It is a vessel that helps me to land on a variety of unknown territories. Nevertheless, it’s also important to keep in mind that I’m still the main character. So it is never on auto pilot mode. I’m low key scared of that.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
My parents are very proud of me and what I’m accomplishing. My mum particularly challenges me a lot when it comes to my artistic experimentations as she is curious and want to know the vision behind the tracks. I am also very lucky to have the coolest best friends who are supportive no matter what.