“Peace, love and positive thoughts - that pretty much sums up where my lyrics are coming from. I’ve taken my love of Neo-Soul, RnB and Hip Hop, my British Moroccan heritage, and my experience and perspective on life, mixed them it up and served up something fresh and unique.”
Her new live project 'Creation' will offer a positive and uplifting take on existence - exploring the wonder of the creation we find ourselves living in and how we as a human race and on an individual level, create and impact the world we experience. The songs are relevant, accessible and unique and will be performed live with Oud player and Guitarist Stefanos Tsourelis, Cellist and Keyboard player Matt Constantine, Double and Electric bassist Jon Mapp, and Turntablist and Mpc drummer DJ Tigerstyle! The result is a fusion of music including Neo-Soul, Hiphop, Jazz, Classical, Arabic and Latin!
But getting to the point where she could share her talent with you was not easy. For Noraay, the decision to sing brought with it some serious challenges. Raised in a traditional Moroccan household, the idea of Noraay pursuing a career in music couldn’t have been further from her parents’ minds.
“In my culture women do not get up on stage and perform,” she explains. “Traditionally women would not be expected to expose themselves to a mixed audience in that way.”
But after turning her hand to more ‘acceptable’ work practices, Noraay soon realized that living up to other people’s expectations was not going to help her resolve inner turmoil. Trading acceptance from her culture for soul searching, she enrolled in a music course and has never looked back since.
“I felt alive. I discovered a passion I didn’t know I had. I would lock myself in my room for days listening to music and just writing. It was a way of releasing a lot of negative tension and sharing my perspective with people.”
Noraay has since made full use of her music training and now takes on production, as well as songwriter and performer duties. Whether carving out her own soulscapes, supporting artists like Terri Walker or rocking the stage at Radio Onemusic in Brighton, Noraay is all about honing her craft.
Hands on, proactive and determined, Noraay is manifesting her destiny, while acknowledging her heritage. In fact, the name she adopts as an artist is taken from the Arabic word ‘Nor’ meaning ‘light’.
A perfectionist at heart, she believes that as an artist she has a duty to develop her craft and to keep her message positive. Like a young Sade with a head wrapped in Baduizm, and a hint of Arabia, hers is a voice that delves beneath the superficial surface of everyday life. In a world where reality TV stars serve as makeshift idols and wealth defines the worth of a human being, Noraay’s music is built on long standing values.
“Artists are powerful, I believe if you’re putting something out there, it should be something positive, something that makes people think or touches and inspires them.”
Humbled by faith and dedicated by nature, Noraay has fought convention and won the right to her creative expression.
“It’s taken some time to get this started,” says Noraay upon reflection. “But I’m ready now.”
Join Noraay on a journey of self-discovery and meet a woman whose music is imbued with true passion and purpose.
“Noraay paints vivid pictures with her music to create a sound that has unexpected depth and reach. She has the talent, ambition and desire to go on to become a major artist.” Rita Ray – world music DJ and broadcaster (BBC World Service, BBC 3 & 4)
“Noraay has an exceptional talent in her vocal abilities and as an artist, who is able to adapt to a variety of styles whilst still maintaining her Moroccan roots.” Drew Horley – producer (Ty, Natalie Williams)
“She is also a gifted songwriter who is able to blend cross cultural references and a different take on gender politics that makes it vital that her voice is given an opportunity to be heard in a music marketplace where genuine original talent with something to say is in short supply.” Paul Martin – former Head of Talkin Loud and Def Jam UK
"Noraay has all the makings of getting seriously noticed...reminiscent of India.Aire and Erykah Badu...her music is as cool as you can get." Luv Magazine
"I'm reminded of Massive Attack before they got so gloomy...touches of Natacha Atlas...the tenderness of The Sundays and Morcheeba and Nelly Furtado in there too. A confident, content performance, like she know she's going places and plans to relish the journey." RealBrighton.com
Noraay's new live show 'Creation' was recently performed at:
- Momos - London (26th Oct 2012),
- Brighton and Hove Black History Month (4th Nov 2012 - Featuring award-winning producer and drummer Drew Horley!),
- The Latest Bar - Brighton (7th Nov 2012)
- the Barbican for the London Jazz Festival 2012 (18th Nov).
Her debut album FROM THE DARKNESS TO LIGHT is officially released in Spring 2013 and can be previewed on the player above!