JANUARY 14 @ 7PM | CAFÉ STRING | STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
The story of Mona Najib spans three continents within its first sentence; the Swedish-born, LA-based child of a Moroccan father (who traversed the Sahara Desert to start his new life in Scandinavia). Najib is indeed a daughter of a nomad, if not a nomad herself.
Swedish singer/voiceover artist, Mona Najib (33), went ahead and did the one thing many of us are so afraid to do; she followed her dream, and maybe even more importantly, her heart. At 26, she was accepted into the Los Angeles College of Music in Pasadena, California, and decided to just go for it. “I’ve realised that up until the point when I applied to the school in Los Angeles, I had based a lot of my life choices on somebody else and not myself. I’ve always wanted to work in music so this was definitely a choice that I made for myself“, she says. With a background in teaching and professional soccer, the change was a big but happy one, that she saw necessary for her own wellbeing; “…mentally I was in a destructive place as a woman – dealing with body issues, psychological things, heartbreak…and the list goes on”. Keep reading for an insight into Mona’s beautiful soul and wise thoughts on life, following your heart, living far away from family and being fearless in a world full of fear.
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Najib conveys a depth, sensitivity, and a range of inspiration as dynamic as her path. Delivering the wintery atmosphere of Uppsala, her hometown in Sweden, with the enchanting warmth of her Moroccan roots, Najib’s voice evokes both fragility and power. From the clean electronic sounds of Swedish pop artists, like Seinabo Sey and Robyn, to the smoky grooves of American R&B and soul, she cites some of her earliest influences as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson. Also drawing from alternative and contemporary artists such as Adele, Emily King, John Mayer and Bon Iver, her creative pulse flows in as the sounds of her everyday life, adding dimension and complexity to a core of simplicity and pure emotion.
Collaborations include Taboo (The Black Eyed Peas), singer and vocal coach Dorian Holley (Michael Jackson, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno), and J.J. Blair, Grammy-award winning music engineer and producer (Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash and The Who). Najib co-wrote Run Me (2016) for the television channel Freeform, more commonly known as ABC Family (Walt Disney) and collaborated with Phlotilla for the cover of Don’t Fear The Reaper — as head in the trailer of VAMPYR. Furthermore, Najib has collaborated with Grammy nominated engineer, mixer and producer John Rausch (Taylor Swift, P!nk, Colbie Caillat, Josh Groban), Brian Brundage (Tori Kelly, Florence and The Machine), Dhani Lennevald (Avicii, Ishi), Sandro Cavazza (Kygo, Avicii, Lost Frequencies).
Two years in the making, Najib’s much anticipated single Limbo was released in December 2016 and has been described as ”a culture clash with pure pop hooks” (New & Brave). Howlin', Najib’s second single, co-written and co-produced by Swedish duo Sandro Cavazza and Dhani Lennevald was released in June 2017, and most recently Najib released a raw and intimate song entitled Mess We Made (2018).