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Rivergigs Presents: An Evening with Emel Mathlouthi

Rivergigs Presents: An Evening with Emel Mathlouthi

Date(s) - 11/17/2023
6:00 pm - 9:30 pm

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Urban Farm Fermentory


15-20 USD
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About this event

  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Mobile eTicket

Emel Mathlouthi is a Tunisian-American singer-songwriter, composer, performer and producer whose music has crossed time, countries and continents.


Doors Open: 6 PM | Show: 7:30 PM

$15 Pre-Sale | $20 At Door

21+ w/ID

Born in Tunis, Emel has built her musical universe inspired by revolutionary artists such as Sheikh Imam, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Jefferson Airplane, The Cranberries and Tool.

In 2008 she fled Tunis for Paris after her music was banned in Tunisia and she was prevented from performing in the country. With creative freedom in Paris, she pursued writing and perfecting her protest songs, mainly voice, guitar, north african percussions and cello, later adding electronic textures which made the body of her first studio album, Kelmti Horra (My Word Is Free).


In 2011, her notoriety increased when she was filmed performing her emblematic song, also called Kelmti Horra, on Bourguiba Avenue, in the middle of the Tunisian revolution, among thousands of fellow protestors. Broadcast on youtube, and viral on facebook and twitter, her spontaneous and impassioned performance echoed throughout the Arab countries, each in the throes of revolt, earning her the moniker “the voice of the Arab Sping” which stayed with her for years. In 2016, she performed Kelmti Horra at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, marking a climax in her journey with this powerful song.

Determined to build a sound universe as revolutionary as the texts she has written, Emel continues her exploration and develops a sound that is unique to her. An electronic music loaded with North African references, with complex rhythms and light-dark atmospheres, which is revealed in 2017 with the release of Ensen (Human), her sophomore album signed on the American label Partisan Records.

Based now in New York, Emel surrounds herself with producer Valgeir Sigurðson (Sigur Ros, Feist, Björk) to develop a music that sounds like her: sensitive and non-conformist, away from stereotypes and simple ideas.

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