Birthday: 1964-03-20 · Known For: Sound
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Natacha Atlas (Arabic: نتاشا أطلس; born 20 March 1964) is an Egyptian-British singer known for her fusion of Arabic and Western music, particularly hip-hop. She once termed her music "cha'abi moderne" (modern popular music). Her music has been influenced by many styles including Maghrebain, hip hop, drum and bass and reggae. Atlas began her career as part of the world fusion group Transglobal Underground. In 1995, she began to focus on her solo career with the release of Diaspora. She has since released seven solo albums and been a part of numerous collaborations. Her version of "Mon amie la rose" became a surprise success in France, reaching 16 on the French Singles Charts in 1999. Her most recent creation Myriad Road was released on 23 October 2015. It was produced by French Lebanese jazz musician Ibrahim Maalouf.
In 1999, Atlas married Syrian kanun player Abdullah Chhadeh. The couple divorced in 2005.Atlas is now in a relationship with British Egyptian violinist Samy Bishai, who produced her 2010 release Mounqaliba. The couple divide their time between London and France. Atlas has said in the past that she is "technically Muslim" and that she identifies with Sufism. She also stated that her father has some Sephardic Jewish ancestry. Atlas said more recently, "These days I prefer to say that I'm Anglo-Middle Eastern and leave the religion out of it." She is, however, open to other forms of spirituality because "it's important to be tolerant".In 2001, she was appointed by Mary Robinson as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Conference Against Racism. Robinson chose Atlas because "she embodies the message that there is a strength in diversity. That our differences – be they ethnic, racial or religious – are a source of riches to be embraced rather than feared". She was a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Conference Against Racism.Atlas is a proponent of The Zeitgeist Movement. She included clips from Zeitgeist: Addendum in her 2010 album Mounqaliba.
Natacha Atlas was born in Brussels of Anglo Egyptian parentage. Her British mother was born Christian becoming Buddhist in the 1970s. Her father, of Egyptian descent, deeply interested in Sufi mysticism and the Gurdjieff philosophy of the fourth way, also studied Chinese medicine and Taoism. Atlas was raised listening to music from both east and west and in the course of her upbringing learned to be tolerant of all religions. After her parents separated, Atlas went to live in Northampton, England with her mother.Atlas grew up speaking French and English, and later learned Arabic and Spanish. She sings in several languages, including in modern colloquial Arabic, although she admits that she is not entirely at ease in it.
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