Nouri is a Kurdish Iraqi. Nouri was born in a Syrian refugee camp. Her family were granted refugee status in New Zealand when she was three.
But today, Nouri is a singer and songwriter.
And, she’s a pretty big deal.
When she was 15, she began uploading cover songs on social media which got her a lot attention.
When she was 23, she left a Computer Science Degree, her family and home in New Zealand for LA, to follow her dream of breaking into the international music scene.
Thanks to her distinctive, soulful voice and talent for songwriting, Nouri caught the eye of Grammy-award-winning producer who has worked with the likes of Lady Gaga and Rihanna.
She was also featured in the soundtrack of the film Daddy’s Home 2 starring Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell and performed the American National anthem at the at the Staples Center in LA for two different games.
Her first single Where Do We Go From Here reached number one in eight countries on Anghami (The Middle East and North Africa’s largest streaming service with over 55 million users) while the music video has already got over one million views.
The single even beat Ariana Grande’s thank u, next on Anghami.
See? We told you she’s a big deal.
And, her follow up single Favourite Goodbye reached number one in Morocco, KSA and Palestine on Anghami
Nouri told The Arab Edition that she writes a lot of her songs while driving in her car.
‘I usually do the melody in the studio. And I take the melody and I play it in the car, and that’s where it just writes itself.’
She is currently working on her EP (and we seriously can’t wait to hear the whole thing) which she describes as, ‘going to make people want to dance and cry at the same time.’
We are so here for that. Who doesn’t want to cry in the club? We do.
Nouri also told us that her family are her biggest motivation.
“My motivation every single day is my family of course. And it’s also sharing my story on a much bigger scale all through my music though. My moto every day is it’s bigger than music. Because it is. It’s about sharing my story through my music platform.”
And Nouri takes her platform seriously. As an independent recording artist she believes in the importance of diversity and how important the path that she’s trying to carve will be for other people of colour and particularly Middle Easterners in the industry.
“One of the biggest obstacles in this music industry, I would say, is the lack of diversity when you think about the people at the top. What I’m trying to do is break these kinds of different barriers to open the door for others who are trying to do the same thing.”
Again, we are so here for it.
I got the chance to have a great and in depth conversation with Nouri over the phone while she was in LA, her second home after New Zealand.
Nouri told me about how she got to where she is, what her plans are for the future, her thoughts on the devastating terrorist attack in Christchurch and how she maintains a relaxed, chilled out attitude.
I didn’t want to leave out any part of our great conversation so I’ve left the full transcript below for you guys to read, in full if you like.
Also check out our video all about who Nouri is which includes clips from our conversation below and personalized videos that she sent directly to us.