The music of Meryem Aboulouafa is quietly arresting, something that creeps up on you slowly and then all at once.
Growing up, the Casablanca-hailed singer-songwriter took solace in writing poems in Arabic and French, which have formed the lyrical backbone of her densely atmospheric tracks today.
Ever since, the interior designer turned musician has been making waves with tracks such as “THE FRIEND” (taken from her stirring eponymous album Mereyem) and “Breath of Roma” – offering up cinematic visuals to boot. Think gently trickling instrumentals, textured production, and haunting vocals.
We caught up with the artist and talked about early inspirations, and making music that makes fans feel “peaceful”…
When did you first realise you wanted to make music?
Music had always an important place in my life, I’ve never been aware about that, until I found myself spending more time making music than working on interior design (my profession). My first interaction with music happened with my dad, who shared with me the music of his time, we listened, sang discussed and appreciated the music together. When he felt my interest on music he registered me in the conservatory of music of Paris in Casablanca, for solfège, violin and guitar classes. I doodled with my fingers on guitar melodic sequences which I liked and that I wanted to make elaborate by humming melodies with my voice; the new need is obvious, adding words to the voice in order to give meaning to the whole.
Who did you grow up listening to?
At an early age, my father shared with me the music of his time, 60s sounds, so I grow up listening to Pink Floyd, Beatles, Bob Dylan, Georges Brassens, Jaques Brel, Nina Simone, Edith Piaf.
How would you describe your genre?
I have difficulty to define the genre of my music. My priority is expressing my emotions authentically, afford them the right sonorities and choose with care the words with the intention and rhythm they reflect through the feelings. Therefore the result of genre can change from a song to another.