Natacha Atlas

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Natacha Atlas (Arabic: نتاشا أطلس‎; born 20 March 1969) is a Belgian singer known for her fusion of Arabic and Western electronic music, particularly hip-hop. She once termed her music "cha'abi moderne" (modern popular music). Her music has been influenced by many styles including Arabic, hip hop, drum 'n' bass and reggae.


Early life

Atlas was born to a father of Moroccan, Lebanese, and Palestinian ancestry[1] who was born in Jerusalem and a British mother who had converted to Islam. Her paternal grandfather was born in Egypt, but grew up in Palestine, immigrating to Europe at age 15.[2] She concedes to being "maybe 10 percent Jewish or something." Atlas says the claim that her father is purely Jewish and not Arab is "one of those things where someone had a grudge against me and wanted to hurt me. My grand-grand-grandfather was Jewish. But Jews have always been part of Arab society, so it’s not so unusual for someone to find out that they have Jewish blood. At the end of the day, we really are so connected."[3]

Atlas grew up in Laken, a Moroccan suburb of Brussels, Belgium, After her parents separated, Atlas went to live in Northampton, England with her mother.[4] Atlas learned several languages, including Arabic, French, English, and Spanish,[5] and has used them all in the course of her career.

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