The Azerbaijan State News Agency


Marie Sahba: Through my music and lyrics, I want to build cultural bridges between my nations - INTERVIEW

Marie Sahba: Through my music and lyrics, I want to build cultural bridges between my nations -  INTERVIEW

Stockholm, March 18, AZERTAC

Azerbaijan lives not only in the hearts of people, who were born and residing there, but also in the hearts of those, who are far away from their homeland due to circumstances. However, there are cases when Azerbaijan, with its historical and rich cultural heritage, has become a part of a person’s heart, who was born in a northern country and has never been in Azerbaijan.

AZERTAC introduces its readers to an exciting artist, who seamlessly blends her cultural heritage with modern electronic music. Marie Sahba grew up in Trondheim, Norway with her South-Azerbaijani father and Norwegian mother.

- How did your path to becoming a musician start off?

- Our house was always filled with music from all around the world Azerbaijani, Iranian, Turkish, Norwegian and Western music. It has had a huge impact on my music and my life, and I feel so grateful for growing up with the richness of cultures from East and West. I’ve loved music since I was a baby. My mother always tells the story of how I was leaning on the speakers headbanging to Vivaldi’s Four seasons before I could even walk- it’s such a cool image and so accurate of how I was as a child. I loved all types of music- all genres, old and new. I would listen to classical music, 80s rock and then Britney Spears all in one sitting. It didn’t matter to me as long as it was quality. I knew from an early age that I wanted to learn how to play the piano and sing so I just demanded that I’d get piano and singing lessons. Which I was so fortunate to get. I think I was around 8 years old when I started making songs on the piano, singing and jamming out different melodies and forms. Ever since it’s been my therapy and passion in life. That’s how I cope with my feelings and what I’m going through.

- How many albums have you published and what countries have you gotten to perform in?

- I’ve released two EPs and one album. My debut album, ‘A Billion Years Too Soon’ was released on February 16th this year and it was a big milestone for me. I’m so proud of it and how I’ve managed to blend my rich cultural heritage with modern electronic music in such a natural way - Azerbaijani with English lyrics and traditional instruments from Azerbaijan, Iran, Türkiye with western instruments. I’ve performed in Türkiye and Norway, and my dream is to travel to Azerbaijan and perform there. One of my goals for this year actually! I would love to perform at COP29 in November and the main reason behind this is to be able to perform my track ‘Orumiyeh’ which has been inspired by happy childhood memories and unfortunately a current global environmental disaster. It is heartbreaking for me to witness the disappearing of the lake, that’s why I’ve incorporated a heartbeat that symbolizes the sorrow and the cry and despair of Lake Urmia. With this track I would like to raise awareness from an international platform about one of the world’s biggest environmental disasters as it will affect not only the animals, but the agriculture and the whole region. The world needs to take action before it’s too late.

- Tell us about your EP Azeri Baby.

- AZERI BABY EP began as an exploration of my roots, both musically and culturally. During the process my dear father passed away and I wanted to make the EP as an homage to him, his life and our roots. It was so hard but also so meaningful. I think he would’ve been proud- I just wish he got to hear it before he was taken away from us all too soon. He truly was the sweetest man and my anchor in life.

- Do you have any songs in Azerbaijani?

- A lot of my songs have both Azerbaijani and English lyrics. I love combining them both as it makes me feel whole and I wish to represent my rich cultural heritage globally. Azerbaijani is such a beautiful language and I want the world to hear it.

- Do you find Azerbaijani music to be a source of inspiration? Do you have any favorite artists?

- Azerbaijani music is truly an endless source of inspiration to me and it’s so important to me to introduce my listeners to the richness of my cultures. My father used to listen to Azerbaijani musicians as Rashid Behbudov and I remember the song ‘Ayriliq’ (Separation) in particular. It’s such a heartbreakingly beautiful song that has made a huge impact on me. Even though I didn’t understand it as a child. One of my fondest memories is watching live music from Azerbaijan and Türkiye on the television with my father and listening to my father’s stories about the time he used to live in Urmu and Istanbul. Turkish music has also become a big inspiration for me throughout the years. The title track from my debut album ‘A Billion Years Too Soon’ is an ode to Istanbul and my father who lived there from the age of 18 to 22 whom I lost a billion years too soon. That’s why I decided to shoot the music video in Istanbul with the famous Turkish cinematographer Emre Köktaş. Köktaş and his team really blew my mind- I’m so proud of the result.

- How do you feel that you represent your Azerbaijani identity in Norway?

- I feel fortunate that even though I am half Norwegian, my ethnic Azerbaijani father from Urmu and his family made sure that our traditions and cultural heritage were preserved and respected. As a child I visited Urmu, and I have many great memories from there. Through my music and lyrics I want to build cultural bridges between my nations.

Share news on social media

Follow us on social network

State reception was hosted in honor of President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Zhaparov

® Bakcell is inviting the entire country to the concert at Boulevard

® Birbank Business’s special “Welcome” campaign for new customers

President Ilham Aliyev and President Sadyr Zhaparov attended unveiling ceremony of monument to Chingiz Aitmatov in Baku

President Ilham Aliyev and President Sadyr Zhaparov made press statements VIDEO

Kyrgyz President Sadyr Zhaparov pays tribute to Azerbaijani martyrs

Kyrgyz President Sadyr Zhaparov pays respect to Great Leader Heydar Aliyev

Al Pacino, Dan Stevens to play troubled priests in exorcism horror ‘The Ritual’

US Congress members informed about Azerbaijan-Armenia peace process

Serb Member of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Željka Cvijanović invited to COP29

Azerbaijan-Hungary Energy Working Group convenes fourth meeting

AZERTAC hosts meeting with Uzbek journalists VIDEO

Court investigates business corruption accusation against wife of Spanish PM

`Kyrgyzstan will be third country involved in construction of a school in Karabakh`

Hungarian foreign minister to visit Azerbaijan

Türkiye rejects ‘one-sided’ statements on 1915 events

Azerbaijani rowers aim for 'medal rush' in Hungarian tournaments

President of Kyrgyzstan highlights construction of secondary school in Agdham district

Azerbaijani tennis player grabs bronze at WTT Youth Contender Spa 2024

Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan signed documents VIDEO

President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Zhaparov: The Joint Declaration affirms the deeper strategic nature of the relationship between Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan that has developed in practice

President Ilham Aliyev thanks Kyrgyzstan for its support for restoration of the liberated territories

President: Charter capital of the Azerbaijan-Kyrgyzstan Development Fund quadrupled to $100 million

President Ilham Aliyev: The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan is showing a tendency to increase

The 2nd meeting of the Azerbaijan-Kyrgyzstan Interstate Council was held VIDEO

Growing public debt burden, shrinking fiscal space leave Africa at crossroads: UNECA

President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan is determined to continue active interaction with Kyrgyzstan in all areas

Azerbaijan’s Naval Forces and MES hold Wave-2024 joint tactical exercise

President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan and the countries of Central Asia are bound together by centuries-old ties of cooperation

President of Azerbaijan invited his Kyrgyz counterpart to COP29

President Ilham Aliyev: The visit of the President of Kyrgyzstan to Azerbaijan will contribute to strengthening the friendly and fraternal relations between the two countries

International experts convene for conference in Azerbaijan’s Lachin

Azerbaijani ambassador presents his credentials to President of Gambia

BHOS hosts opening of International Scientific Conferences

® Nar presents new books to a school in Fuzuli

Presidents of Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan held meeting in limited format VIDEO

Participants of international forum kick off visit to liberated territories VIDEO

Oil prices go up in global markets

Chairman of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina invited to COP29

Official welcome ceremony was held for President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Zhaparov VIDEO

World’s electric car fleet continues to grow strongly, with 2024 sales set to reach 17 million

President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Zhaparov arrives in Azerbaijan for state visit

Havertz scores 2 as Arsenal routs Chelsea 5-0 to cement Premier League lead

China to launch Shenzhou-18 crewed spaceship on April 25

Azerbaijani oil price exceeds 89 dollars

President: We cannot sit and wait seeing how France, India and Greece are weaponizing Armenia against us

Juventus requires a late goal to beat Lazio 3-2 on aggregate and reach the Italian Cup final

Azerbaijani President: Education of the young generation is one of our main priorities

President Ilham Aliyev: We used benefits from oil and gas to tackle issues of unemployment and poverty

President: The potential of the countries of the Southern Caucasus is already known, and we already know in which areas we can work together

President Ilham Aliyev: We never forgot about issue of four villages

President: Absolutely realistic to reach agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia before COP29, at least an agreement on our basic principles

Portuguese expert: Baku-hosted COP29 will serve as an essential platform for addressing global challenges related to climate change

Jeyhun Bayramov sheds light on country's foreign policy priorities while visiting CEVRO Institute of Czech Republic

President Ilham Aliyev: Armenia blocks possibility of building land connection with Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic

President İlham Aliyev: Our cooperation with China is expanding in political and economic areas, as well as in transportation

President of Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation meets with UN Geneva Director-General

President of Azerbaijan: The world will need fossil fuels for many more years

Azerbaijan, Czech Republic explore opportunities for cooperation within COP29

President Ilham Aliyev: We treat our COP29 chairmanship as an opportunity to contribute really to the practical resolution of the most urgent issues on global arena

International forum themed “COP29 and Green Vision for Azerbaijan” was held at ADA University
President Ilham Aliyev attended the forum VIDEO

International “President Cup 2024” regatta ready to welcome competitors from over 20 countries

President of Azerbaijan: Now, we have a common understanding of how the peace agreement should look like

Azerbaijani FM informs Czech counterpart about Azerbaijan-Armenia normalization process

Press release of service of Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev

Azerbaijani President: COP29 will create opportunities for at least consultations among three Southern Caucasian countries, which lead way to future cooperation

President Ilham Aliyev: We want COP29 to be successful from point of view of tackling issues of climate change VIDEO

Azerbaijan, Bahamas Gymnastics Federation embark on cooperation

President: Azerbaijan's economy is actually a self-sufficient economy and it demonstrates sustainable growth even in the period of crisis

President: Azerbaijan has a very close partnership relationship with all countries that are members of Eurasian Union except Armenia VIDEO

Azerbaijani female chess player gets off to a roaring start at European Women's Chess Championship 2024

Slovenia hosts high-level conference of Nizami Ganjavi International Center

Azerbaijan Army’s tanks units hold competition, Defense Ministry VIDEO

President Ilham Aliyev: COP29 is a sign of big respect and support to Azerbaijan from international community

Azerbaijan produces over 7 billion kWh of electricity in Q1 2024

Another 39 families relocated to Fuzuli city get house keys VIDEO

Tunisia, Algeria, Libya agree to advance cooperation

Copernicus report shows year of weather extremes in Europe

® Azercell Telecom launches social campaign "The Way to Go” in collaboration with Azerbaijan Judo Federation

Heydar Aliyev International Airport: the path to development

Azerbaijan, Albania abolish visa regime

Press release of the service of Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev

Oil prices in global markets

Türkiye hosts inaugural event on ocean action, climate crisis

Azerbaijani oil price declines in global markets

4 missing after vessel hit bridge in China's Guangdong

10 killed after 2 Malaysian military helicopters crash

Inter Milan win Italian Serie A title with 5 games left

Joint meeting was held between Azerbaijani and Russian Presidents with railway veterans and workers on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Baikal-Amur Mainline VIDEO

Pakistan-Azerbaijan Economic Integration Model: An Expert Opinion

Azerbaijani FM embarks on official visit to Czech Republic

President Ilham Aliyev concluded his working visit to Russia

Russian peacekeepers leave Karabakh after Yerevan recognizes Baku’s state borders — Peskov

President Ilham Aliyev: The factor of Heydar Aliyev has always played and will continue to play an important role in the interstate relations between Russia and Azerbaijan

President Ilham Aliyev: Vladimir Putin and Heydar Aliyev laid foundation for friendly and neighborly relations between Azerbaijan and Russia

President Ilham Aliyev: We are proud that Azerbaijani specialists took an active part in construction of BAM

President of Russia: BAM shapes global logistics for the entire 21st century

President Vladimir Putin: Heydar Aliyev played a special, immense role in the history of the Baikal-Amur Mainline

Georgia welcomes agreement reached by Azerbaijan-Armenia Border Delimitation Commission

Chair of Georgian Parliament’s committee visits Milli Majlis