Interviews / Music

Meet Arabic Pop Artist Reina Khoury

Reina Khoury is an Arabic songwriter whose dance-pop music, visually, is the perfect escape into the desert sunset. Lyrically, her music seamlessly glides between the convictions of English and Arabic.

With the rise of Spotify, pop music has become more accessible than ever. The lines between mainstream music is blurred – leading undiscovered pop artists to the global scale. Nowadays, pop music in North America and western Europe have become more diverse than ever before, with the rise of artists such as K-Pop group BTS and Latin hip-hop artist Bad Bunny. It’s safe to say that the next set of rising multi-lingual pop stars is Reina Khoury – who perfectly blends those two worlds in a mainstream appeal.

And so, meet Reina Khoury, whose newest single “Exist With You” reminds us about the innocence of love and the romantic it ignites in all of us. 

What was the inspiration behind your latest single “Exist With You”? 

“Exist With You” was written as a happy escape that anyone can listen to as a feel-good song. The first sentence of the song was the first thing I wrote off the top of my head when I felt that I just wanted to express being alone in the world with the one I love. This is where the lyric “I wanna forget the world for a while and exist with you” comes from. I just built it up with my producer from there.

What genres or artists have inspired your music?

Growing up I’ve been exposed to genres ranging from Arabic pop and classical Arabic to Western pop and classics as well. I strongly believe that the music I’ve been exposed to growing up is what I resonate most strongly with to this day. 2000s Arabic pop music makes me feel something special, I feel that this influence is always evident in my vocal melodies and even in the sounds my producer creates in my music. Lyrically I’m inspired by both English and Arabic music just as much. I absolutely love the depth of the lyrics in Arabic music, but I also appreciate the simplicity and conversational type of lyrics with the English pop.

How do you write multilingual music? Are there any challenges that arise when writing lyrics in Arabic and English?

I’ve always used both languages to express myself in general when speaking. When I write I’m more comfortable using English and I feel I can be more descriptive sometimes, but after university going back to living in Jordan, I’ve incorporated the conversational Arabic into my songs because I’ve always used both languages intertwined to express myself, so there are some things I can’t say unless they’re in Arabic, and vice versa for English. There are challenges finding the right balance between how much Arabic or how much English to incorporate into a song and having the song find its right audience, I’m learning that more and more along the way.

Outside of your lyrics, how do you incorporate the sounds of different cultures and genres into your work? 

It’s always evident in the music. My producer is on the exact same page with me when it comes to mixing both languages and embracing a pop genre that has a wide range of influences from both cultures. It’s always exciting when we try using different sounds or instruments that you’d think would be reserved to one specific genre, we’re trying to create something that hasn’t been heard before but at the same time sounds familiar enough to be embraced and explored further.

What do you want fans to take away from “Exist With You”? 

I want it to be a constant reminder for them to love life and be in the current moment, tuning out all negativity that might come their way. Also that it’s a dance number that’s giving a bit of a teaser on what’s more to come. I’m aiming to create more dancey type songs, I just love seeing someone singing and dancing along to my song that makes them feel good.

What has been your favorite reaction to the new single? 

To be honest it was the happiness and awe that my friends and family expressed when they first watched the premier of the video at the release party. It’s such a good feeling seeing the hard work pay off that way, and it keeps me motivated that it’s all worth it and there are so many people that appreciate it.

What’s on the horizon for Reina Khoury?

A lot more to come. I’m aiming to release music every 2-3 months hopefully and keep the momentum going. Hopefully planning to do live shows by the end of this year/beginning of next year as well. I’m super excited to start performing my own songs live.

Stream the new single, “Exist With You,” on all streaming platforms.

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