Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s All-Girl Rock Band

Arab News
Who says Saudi girls can’t rock? Four of them recently struck hammer to the anvil to forge The Accolade, an all-girl rock band. The band’s name comes from an Edmund Leighton painting of a princess knitting herself a warrior.
Since it formed two months ago, the band has released “Pinocchio,” a song about a failed relationship that was polluted with lies; a painting made by lead guitarist Dina of three figures with the long noses inspired the lyrics. (Out of concern for privacy, the young women have asked only to use their stage names.)
The single became a small hit in the world of online social networking; in four days their profiles on Facebook and MySpace generated over 500 fan subscriptions and downloads.

The Accolade has personalized a goth-rock sound with heavy electrified guitar riffs, dark and dreamy keyboard melodies and Lamia’s strong and clear vocals and lyrics. All of the band’s songs are in English, even though the four girls say they haven’t lived outside the Kingdom.

Dina, a 21-year-old student at King Abdulaziz University (KAU), who has a pierced eyebrow and dresses in punk-rock fashion, said that she dreamed about forming a rock band from when she was a little girl. Coming from a music-appreciating family, Dina was encouraged to play instruments and learn music theory.

“My father is using our song as his cell phone’s ringtone,” said Dina’s bass-playing sister, Dareen, who is also a hard rock fan with a glam style (but sans the piercing).

Lamia, a 21 years old KAU student with short hair and pierced eyebrow and lower lip, said she joined the band as a vocalist.

“I’ve been singing since I was 16 years old and now I’m a band member, it’s a dream come true,” she said.

Dina says that her bedroom is filled with music gadgets, including a drum set, an electric rhythm guitar, a bass guitar and a number of amplifiers.

“The band still needs a drummer as we are currently using a drum machine to compose our beats,” said Dareen.

Four young men have offered to be drummers, but the young women insist that Accolade is a band by and for the ladies.

“We just settle for private jams,” said Lamia. “Girls only.”

The band gathers every weekend at the house of Dina and Dareen for rehearsal, Lamia said.

Amjaad, who plays keyboards with the band, was not present during the interview, but she had recently joined the band to add a filling touch of piano and strings to the band’s sound.

The Accolade is determined to complete a demo album with at least five songs, only to prove that Saudi girls have more in them than meets the eye. Dina said that they are playing music for fun and it is just a hobby for them.

“We’re doing art and sharing it with our friends and fans online and we don’t want to extend this hobby to something bigger,” she said.

26 November 2008

Source: Arab News