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July 4 2022 3:49 AM ˚
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Storytelling at heart of Zeyne’s musical agenda

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An undated photo of Zein Sajdi, as known as "Zeyne." (Photo: Handout from Zein Sajda)
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AMMAN — Zein Sajdi, as known as "Zeyne" is a 23-year-old Jordanian singer and songwriter who was born and raised in Amman, Jordan.اضافة اعلان

Zeyne was surrounded by music from a very young age, and so, music easily became a part of who she is.

"I feel I am in a constant state of evolution and learning, especially now; but, if I had to describe who I am today, I would say I am very story-driven," Zeyne said, in a recent interview with Jordan News.

"I am in love with R&B/soul, but also want to reinvent that in my mother tongue — the Arabic language, as a new sound."

The singer also said that one of the main obstacles on her musical journey was shyness.

"For the longest time, up until March 2020 to be exact, I was shy of singing in public — even to my own family members. But, when I finally found the courage from within and gradually built the confidence through the support of my family and friends, I got over the fear of singing publicly, and now, I feel unstoppable," she said.
The singer, who has been surrounded by music all her life, believes that music provides a space for healing. "A year ago, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work and live in London — but the pandemic put all my plans on hold,” she said.

“I found myself back in my bedroom in Amman, with lots of time on my hands, so I started doing covers and sharing them on Instagram. One thing led to another and I became involved in the Jordanian Female Artist Collective at the Amman Jazz Festival." 

Zeyne then connected with producer, Nasir AlBashir, and the two started working on an original track. She also crossed paths with Hana Malhas, “a pillar in the independent music scene and instantly connected on a personal and professional level, which slowly developed into a mentorship," she said.
The singer described herself as very story-driven, adding that her song “Minni Ana” tackles anxiety and takes listeners on a stream of consciousness journey as the singer tries to break free of boundaries — both social and preconceived.

"A lot of new artists with new alternative sounds have been emerging in the region, which is really exciting and inspiring", Zeyne said. "It is starting to become more accessible to the listeners here."

The artist, who is originally from Nablus, Palestine and frequently expresses her love for her hometown through her music, said that her latest song “Nostalgia” was written about Palestine.

"We wanted to show how, through this song, it is possible for us to feel nostalgic towards something we never experienced, but through our parents’ and grandparents’ memories,” she said. “An inherited sense of loss and grief towards the homeland. Many of us have not actually seen what Palestine was like before it was occupied."

Zeyne’s other songs tackle issues ranging from mental health to questions about identity, love, and relationships and is working to release her first EP in early 2022.

"It will be based on my own personal experiences and feelings that I hope people can resonate with," she said.

"I am working on multiple projects at the moment — a lot of songs in the making — and I am also writing songs for other artists as well, which is all very exciting!"

On the other hand, Zeyne said that "as a female Arab artist and musician, I have a strong desire to create space for conversations that discuss a plethora of different topics that are considered taboo in our society, such as identity, mental health, relationships, and much more."

She advised other female artists to always speak up and be vocal about what they want in life, whether that be in the workplace or outside of it. "Our voices need to be heard, loud and clear," she said.

The artist, who started her career by doing musical covers and sharing them on her Instagram account pointed out that "social media has played a huge role in my career. I first opened my music account in March 2020 and started uploading covers there. Through that, I met so many people from the local music scene, and got a lot of support and love that pushed me to where I am today."

Zeyne said that her ultimate goal is to make music that makes “people feel”. She hopes to merge global influences into her own Arabic sound and release originals that push “conventional boundaries of Arabic music."

"Believe in yourself when no one will; because at least then, you have a starting point from which you can jumpstart to even greater things. ... Follow your dreams and seek to achieve them; you might surprise yourself one day," she said.

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