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Natacha Atlas

Natacha Atlas

Natacha Atlas
@ Pizza On The Park
18 - 19 August 2006

A special summer season of world music in the heart of London)

Click an image to enlarge.


During a hectic and exhilarating trip to Israel, Natacha Atlas described herself as “a human Gaza strip”. She was referring to the complex combination of influences – both genetic and environmental that have shaped her, both as an individual and as a performer.

Atlas was born in Belgium 20 March (year unknown), of Middle Eastern descent. Her ancestral tree has branches that encompass Egypt, Palestine, Morocco and England.

At age sixteen Atlas began juggling musical projects that would see her travelling between England and Belgium. At age seventeen she would travel to Greece and Turkey, where she worked in Arabian and Turkish nightclubs as a singer and belly dancer.

Atlas’ first commercial opening happened after singing on Balearic beat crew !Loca¡'s club hit “Timbal”. Singing and co-writing with Jah Wobble and the newly formed Invaders of the Heart would follow. Such collaborations brought dance chart success as well as artistic acclaim in the form of a Mercury award nomination for Jah Wobble’s “Rising Above Bedlam”(with five tracks co written by Atlas).

From 1991 Atlas began appearing as a guest singer and belly dancer with London-based Trans Global Underground. By 1993 she was a full member of this multi-cultural collective. Major tours, festivals and further critical acclaim would follow.

Despite a hectic schedule, Atlas still found space and time to concentrate on solo material. “Diaspora” was released in 1995 to critical acclaim. This album combined the dubby, beat-driven global dance approach of Transglobal with traditional arrangements from Arabic musicians. 1999 would see the release of “Gedida”, which fused both Middle Eastern and European styles. Each subsequent release would bring a wider, more appreciative audience, as well as further critical acclaim from the music press. In May 2004 Atlas received an EMMA award (Ethnic Multicultural Media Award) as the Best World Music Act.

Atlas has a collaboration CV to be admired. To date she has worked with artists such as Jocelyn Pook, Nitin Sawhney, Fun-Da Mental, Apache Indian, Jaz Coleman, Jean Michel Jarre, Nigel Kennedy, Andrew Cronshaw, Abdullah Chhadeh and Sarrah Brightman.

Atlas’ songs have appeared in films such as “Chronicle of a disappearance”, “Stargate”, “Hulk”, “Divine intervention”, “The truth about Charlie”, “Phantom of the Louvre” and “La repentie”.


I proceeded to eagerly ‘snap away’ after cautiously requesting permission to photograph Ms Atlas - from Ms Atlas herself prior to her sound-check. She confidently agreed. However, I noticed my presence seemed to make her nervous. She did not stop me, but the odd glance from above her microphone was enough, so I stopped. When I apologised after the sound-check she calmly, but firmly replied:

“You were on my left side, I always have a problem when photographers are on my left side!”

Ms Atlas is an extremely attractive woman. I personally could not see any difference between her left, or right side… I guess it’s a woman thing. However, next time, as long the conditions allow, I will definitely stick to her right side!

I suspect that if Natacha Atlas did not like you, she would have no hesitation in letting you know promptly. I like her!

Natacha Atlas’ singing voice, music and presence is intriguing. This was the first of her two-night residency, but her only acoustic set. The following day was scheduled to be an up-tempo affair.

Singing in Arabic, she seemed to cast a spell over her audience. Normally you would hear a whisper, or even a carefully worded conversation, but not tonight - You could have heard a pin drop.

Though I only witnessed a minute part of her repertoire, I could feel a rich legacy, and sense a world of music from deep within this pint sized performer.

Robin Francis
© Michael Valentine Studio Ltd

Natacha Atlas

Natacha Atlas

Natacha Atlas

Natacha Atlas

Natacha Atlas

Natacha Atlas band

Clara Sanabras

Clara Sanabras

Natacha Atlas & band



Mish Maoul ayeshteni Halim
Diaspora Gedida Something Dangerous The Remix Collection

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