Al Rawiya


My mother is Lebanese and my dad is British but I was born in Kuwait, so I’ve had quite a few cultural experiences. Despite spending my childhood years in Kuwait, I experienced Lebanese culture through its customs and traditions that my mother’s family never lost touch with after their emigration. Arabic music became a staple of my childhood and inspired the nostalgic element in my music.

When I moved to the UK at the age of 8 I felt like an outcast. Having been raised on Muslim values, it was quite difficult to connect with my peers. As I grew older, however, I came to love many elements of British culture and music – especially the underground music scene.  

I started DJing at 15 with some friends who worked with vinyl, collecting records and performing in the drum and bass scene, but a turning point for me was my first time watching DJ Supermike perform for Hishek Bishek in London. Listening to Arabic music I used to enjoy in private in an unconventional nightlife space, was something I’d never experienced before. I asked Supermike to share some tips, before going on to create my own sound, blending and producing Arabic music with a wide range of mainstream and underground genres.

My Boiler room set is a project I was invested in like no other. I wanted to show my versatile range and tell the crowd my story – putting every bit of my multi-cultural identity into the art of mixing. Every blend was intentional and carried a deeper meaning that might not be obvious at first. The build of excitement in the crowd as I mixed Najwa Karam into Missy Elliot, and showcased my own production, such as a UK Bass remix of El Hantour, a Baile Funk remix of Habibi Dah, a Jersey Club edit of Ah w Nos, a Bass club edit of Habibi Ya Ainy, and many more, makes me want to keep discovering my potential as a producer, with a goal of officially releasing music later this year.

I doubted my art at first, but I knew this feeling was rooted in being a woman pursuing a career that doesn’t often come off as promising. Ready to go against those odds, I set an intention of breaking those barriers, it definitely didn’t come easy.

Besides music, I work as a designer and creator for social change. All of my work and workshops often relate to impactful humanitarian messages, and are a tool for me to stay connected to organizations making a difference across the region, particularly in Beirut, such as ThisisLebanon, Egna Legna, ARM Lebanon, and Haven for Artists.