Natacha Atlas biography
نتاشا أطلس (Romanization: Natacha Atlas; born 20 March 1964) is a Belgian singer known for her fusion of Arabic and Western electronic music. She once termed her music "cha'abi moderne" (modern popular music). Her music has been influenced by many styles including Arabic, French, Indian, jazz, drum 'n' 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. She is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Conference Against Racism.
Exploding onto the scene in the early 1990s, Atlas rapidly gained widespread recognition for her successful pioneering meld of Western and Eastern musics, specifically, her use of cutting-edge electronic beats with Arabic melodies and instrumentation. After several releases with Nation Records and a string of albums fronting the seminal Transglobal Underground, she debuted with Diaspora (1994). Atlas then followed with Gedida (Beggar’s Banquet) which won the Victoire Award; the rest, as they say, is history.
Her critically-acclaimed albums Ana Hina (2007) and Mounqaliba (2010), have represented a radical evolution of Atlas’s artistic horizons. On both, Atlas combines her hallmark synthesis of Western and Middle Eastern musical traditions and culture with classical and jazz influences and sounds. Indeed, on Mounqaliba, she pushed the boundaries further, producing an album lavishly orchestrated by her long-time collaborator Samy Bishai.
In addition to her own projects, Atlas has worked extensively with an eclectic group of distinguished artists across a wide variety of musical genres including: pop (Peter Gabriel, Sinead O’Connor, Indigo Girls, and Jean-Michel Jarre); classical (Nigel Kennedy, Jocelyn Pook); jazz (Nigel Kennedy); film scores (Danny Elfman, Clint Mansell, David Arnold, Harry Gregson-Williams, Rachel Portman); and world music (Nitin Sawhney, Transglobal Underground, Talvin Singh).
Atlas’s distinctive voice has also featured on a wide number of soundtracks and scores for both films and video games, including Kingdom of Heaven (2005), The Hulk (2003), Sex and the City 2 (2010), Stargate (1994), The Truth About Charlie (2002), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002), Brick Lane (2007), Sahara (2005), I Can’t Think Straight (2008), La Fille Sur Le Pont (1999), Whatever Lola Wants (2007), Bin-Jip (a.k.a. 3-Iron, English title) (2004); and Heavenly Sword (2007); Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (2005); Project Gotham Racing 4 (2007).
Atlas recently co-composing the music, together with Samy Bishai, for the internationally-renowned French contemporary ballet choreographer, Angelin Preljocaj. The ballet, entitled, Les Nuits will be touring internationally through to 2015. The soundtrack of the music – also entitled Les Nuits - is Atlas’s 2nd release on Mazeeka Records.