An album inspired by Instagram messages


Purva Grover

Published: Thu 4 Mar 2021, 6:08 PM

During the pandemic, artistes all over the world have had to reinvent how not only they create art but also, but also how they present it to us. When it comes to music, we’ve witnessed vertical concerts (performed in balconies) amongst other innovative ideas. So, when we heard about Palestinian artist Lina Makoul’s Instagram challenge, we got curious and, of course, tuned in to see the final results. A singer, songwriter and actress, she currently resides in Akka and London, and has been the opening act for Queen + Adam Lambert, Will Smith & DJ Jazzy Jeff, et al.

In April 2020, the 27-year-old came up with a challenge on her Instagram (@linamakoul) page to engage with her fans. She asked her followers to express themselves using words that would turn into lyrics for a song. Her followers, 109K and counting, turned it into a huge success, and for 10 straight days, Lina picked up a text at a time, edited, composed, sang and played. And then one day, she posted the finished song online. She took the idea further and grew the same into the #YOM Project (‘Yom’ meaning ‘a day’ in Arabic), which is a 10-song acoustic album accompanied with 10 music videos directed, shot, and edited by Lina, using her phone. The album now features in playlists on Spotify, Anghami and Deezer; and does count as a big accomplishment, especially when there’s such a lack of Arab female songwriters.

Lina, who has been in the music business since she was 19, holds this project close to her heart as it screams creativity, empowerment and feminism. Ask her about the three themes she is highlighting here, and she says, “Independence, self-fulfilment, and expressing your whole self without any fear/hesitation.” Growing up in a culturally challenging environment, her drive remains to use music to empower people to become better every day. “I learnt to love all the ups and downs of life. I’ve always been artistic in one way or another, writing songs since a young age,” she recalled.

Is another social media challenge under way? “Well, who knows? When I first came up with this one, I never imagined it would turn into an album. It gave me a different perspective on writing, composing and connecting at so many levels with my audience. So, never say never,” she shares. While Lina hasn’t been to Dubai yet, she adds, “I’ve heard so much about the city, and I can’t wait to perform my songs in the UAE and get inspired by the golden surroundings of the desert.” We look forward to that.

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