Born in Morocco, now living in Quebec; Raised in a Muslim family, to eventually desecrate it; Child of a hetero-normative culture, to better challenge the paradigms of gender identity; Standing firm on the fine and fragile line, emerges MEHDI BAHMAD.

‘‘I’m building shelters with forbidden tools’’

Coming from a visual arts background and incorporating dance and movement into his art, Bahmad couldn’t tap more rightfully into the ever-growing flow of current conversations. Appropriating symbols specific to his North African and Arab cultures (henna, burka, kohl, etc.) and integrating them into an aesthetic so delicate yet powerful, the artist creates an idyllic universe where the disturbing becomes harmonious. A multisensory world where genres ignore borders, where elements are as opposed as interweaved.

Sonically, the artist is evenly eclectic, gracefully tuning in his influences all across the board: from the first impulses of BANKS to romanticism of Lana Del Rey, the words and sounds of Mashrou’Leila and the Yemeni sisters of A-WA, crowning it with a sugary affinity to early Shakira, in embracing and propelling his culture into spheres that go far beyond its original framework.

In short, the soundtrack embodies itself through an art-pop canvas with electro-tonal and sensitive accents. Where the synthetic textures of the consoles weave a still organic environment on which strings and wood pose here and there, resulting on an amalgam that’s as improbable as it is seductive. A warm soundscape full of impact, heart and authenticity. Here, a story from broken environment becomes an aesthetic landscape, transmuting its own repulsion into something beautiful.

‘‘I’ll grow way higher than your Jannah. 
My roots go deeper than your Hell’’

In the end, from this secret garden, this inner essence, emanates a desire for gentleness in purpose and position – in a conscious attempt at debunking the aggressiveness affecting too many current conversations: ‘‘I don’t like to confront with violence or aggressiveness. I want to soften and qualify through my art the scope of everything that circulates, divert political meaning, and reclaim part of my culture, outside of religion.

Simply put: tolerate ambiguity. Give it the right to exist. Exacerbate its inner beauty.