Russian-Algerian singer Sherazade Mahia and her band LavionRose are gearing up to mesmerise audiences at Amsterdam Hub (Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach) on March 22. There, they’ll mix western and oriental influences for a night of world music.
“I sing in [six] different languages and I love to mix traditional sounds,” front woman Mahia told Gulf News tabloid! ahead of the gig. Those languages are Russian, Arabic, French, English, Armenian and Turkish.
The only artist within her direct family, Mahia recalled that her late Russian grandfather played percussions “very well”.
“Music has always been present in our house. My mother listened to a lot of different styles — classic, jazz, oriental music, rock. So music is just within me since my birth,” she said.
She began writing and singing when she was a child in Russia. But ‘officially’, she says, she began when she was 18 in Algeria. She learnt guitar at university and joined several bands.
“The Algerian public is a public that I will never forget,” she said. She described a glimmer of hope and thirst for life in the eyes of her youthful audience.
Later, she joined LavionRose — Sebastien Duval on bass, John Eudes Solignac Lecomte on drums, Decocq Manuel on violin and accordion, Jerome Eye Saleys on guitar and Jean-Claude Meurisse on piano and vocals. She was based in Algeria and LavionRose in France, so the collaborations were long-distance. Thanks to the internet, they were able to build a repertoire. Mahia would write the melodies, and the group would compose and arrange in parallel. (The band’s name is in tribute to French cabaret singer Edith Piaf, and her song La Vie en Rose.)
Sherezade and LavionRose are currently on tour — they played Khala Ghoda festival in Mumbai in front of 3000 people, as well as concerts in Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad — and their debut album will release in early September.
Mahia described the album as “chiselled, melodic and powerful songs that make you travel through various universes.”
Outside of the band, however, she has other plans.
“I always dreamed to be a singer and I achieved it, but as every woman I would like to start a family with the man of my life and have a lot of children,” she said.
“I want to have a real orchestra at home! It doesn’t mean that I will stop singing. I think it will inspire me more to write and persevere.”
*Tickets are Dh60 from afdubai.org.