By Reiham Amin.


Sudanese singer songwriter Nadine El Roubi, demands for more women to take the next step into the music industry. With continual limitations around her, that doesn’t stop when it comes to challenging her music career and being THAT girl.

What does a Boss Babe mean to you? We sat down with Boss Babe Nadine El Roubi and had an exclusive girly catch-up! Don’t worry – you haven’t missed out.

“What was it like telling your parents that you wanted to be a singer?”

My mum was very supportive of me in the arts but she was a bigger supporter of the arts that she deemed to be ‘classy’ and ‘appropriate for young ladies’. So, she was really supportive of me learning an instrument or playing piano or guitar and performing at recitals and she loves my writing. She has always wanted me to be an author. But my dad is really supportive of the music side of things because he is actually a DJ. When I was younger, he would always want to take me to singing lessons but my mum wouldn’t see the need at the time. My dad is probably the most supportive now because he gets it. However, with me and my mum it is more so like, okay whatever she is going to do what she wants at the end of the day.

“I try not to hide who I am to the world because I do not want to teach women to do that. If I don’t show who I really am then I wouldn’t be true to myself.”  

“Being a female Arab artist, do you face a lot of criticism from the community?”

Honestly? Probably not as much as other people, not as much as I would’ve expected to be honest. For example, I uploaded this freestyle where I was like looking a little saucccyy! You know what I mean? I was wearing a crop top and some slit pants and I was looking a little juicccyy. Then someone commented on the upload and said something in Arabic to which I translated, and I saw that he was basically saying to me; ‘Oh you are so beautiful and so talented you do not need to show your body and use these kinds of words you’re using to get attention. You can do it in a classier way’.

I was just like hmm, I am sorry sir but who are you?

For me it wasn’t just a random comment of hate, it really represented the deeper issue of our society of men policing women.

“Do you sometimes find it frustrating being a woman in the music industry?”

Yeah, for sure. I mean it’s frustrating because when you are working with men you kind of get this small fear of; is this person saying they want to work with me just because they eventually want to hit on me type of thing.

“Speaking of men, you were part of a Sudanese collective group called: The Circle. What was it like being the only female in this collective?”

I actually miss being in that group because it really challenged me in a lot of incredible ways. But it annoyed me because I always felt like I needed to prove myself, especially because the music industry is so male dominated. Especially being a female rapper, I felt that it was easier to expect me to sing, but I wanted to rap and I wanted to prove that I can rap.

“We would never say he is my favourite MALE rapper. So why is sex and gender used when talking about a woman rapping?”  

“This year, you released your first mixtape of 2022 and the first track is called, ‘FEMALE’. What can we expect?

This mixtape reflects my identity as an Arab woman, a young woman in general who is kind of growing into her confidence, and it reflects how I see the world and myself.

The first line of that track is “Who the f*ck are you calling a female rapper?”.

I wanted people to listen to the entire mixtape and to be able to have a different reaction to women rapping in this industry. So many women rap.

“When I say the words Boss Babe, who or what comes to mind?”

A Boss Babe to me is a woman that is ambitious, works hard, knows what she wants and knows how to get it. It is someone who wants the best for the people around her whilst uplifting herself in the process.

All the female artists coming out of the region (middle east) right now are absolutely Boss Babes. People like: Perrie, Feluka, TamTam and Layla May; there is like so many I cannot even name them all. All of these women are SO boss in what they do. They are chasing music and doing what they do with such power and elegance and they inspire me every day.

“What does the future of music look like for Nadine El Roubi? Can we expect some songs in Arabic?”

OOOoo! Never say never. In the foreseeable future, I don’t see it but who knows. I have a couple of singles coming out in August and September and my first ever EP coming out in October – which I am so excited for. Then I plan on moving to America later this year to further my career.

I am really looking forward to going to America, because everyone is always telling me that in America there are 1 million people trying to do what you do and that it’s a challenge.

And I’m like you know what? I am ready for that challenge!

“If you could give a piece of advice to women that are wanting to pursue music but might be struggling with taking that initial step, what would you say?”

Just start. Whatever resources you have, start. YouTube is a plethora of knowledge and experience. So, use what you have around you and if it helps, I found my confidence through music. So, if you do not feel confident now, the more you pursue it the more you will.

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