Through Fire and Music
The music of Stockholm-based Syrian pop artist Leen is a melting pot of Middle-Eastern vocals, sounds influenced by artists like Dua Lipa, and theater. Her story interlaces a past of war and loss with relentless creativity and an ongoing romance with English pop.
Music was Leen’s most precious childhood secret. “I always tried to sing quietly so no one would hear me.”, she tells us. “Having such a huge passion for music (especially English pop) was not appreciated in the society I grew up in.”
She came to Sweden at the age of 18, leaving her family behind in war-torn Syria. In a possible echo of her secret past with music, Leen sang for herself at her job in a candy store. Then she started going to open mics.
“I met a person who told me that in Sweden there are schools for music (Folkhögskola) that help musicians evolve.”, she continues. “I was accepted into one, and that’s where I started writing songs and learning everything I can do now.”
While her lyrics are tightly connected to her personal story, she writes about other topics, too. “The war, the danger of death, losing my home, leaving my family (…) the difficulties of growing up as a girl in Syria.”, she remembers. “All of these are reflected in my music in a way or another. In some songs, I speak about them very openly. In others, I try to stay away from them.”
Leen came to Sweden at the age of 18, leaving her family behind in war-torn Syria. After attending a music vocational school, she released her debut single “Refugee” in 2020. It was chosen as the official song of Sweden’s Refugee Committee.
Parallel to this, she’s been acting with the Arabic Theatre where she had performances on stages like Nyköping teater, Skarpnäcks kultur hus, Övik teater and Tur teater. She’s also been singing on stages like Pero, Regina teater, Boat People Projekt Allsång in Skåne, and the Michael Nyqvist Foundation Award.
The Syrian pop artist signed with Rexius Records in the summer of 2021 and is currently preparing for the release of her single “Your Hell” in November.
📷 Alaa Haziem (edit Tanja Berkö)