Egyptian musician Samar Tarik is exposing her soul to the world

Samar Tarik
4 min read
03 November, 2023

Samar Tarik grew up in a house full of music. Her mother loved singing, and those memories definitely influence her to this day.

But these experiences weren’t what pushed Samar to make a career in music – in fact, music was her means of escape, whether from everyday situations or complex emotions.

“I grew up using music in all its forms and shapes to escape the household, which wasn’t really a place to show emotions,” she shares.

"I want to be a voice for people who can’t voice their own difficult feelings" 

Samar used to be very introverted and recalls how writing music and lyrics became a way to express and articulate her emotions.

“I just vented and let it all out. I spent three years silent, not being able to interact as extroverted people could.”

When it came to performing, Samar struggled to build up the confidence to be on stage. In fact, she sang one of her first shows with her back to the crowd.

Today, she is fully able to face her fans, whether she’s playing in Egypt or London, after the devastating loss of Samar’s close friend.

“We used to jam together, but when he passed away it was a turning point. I decided to change the way I engaged with the world and took a step forward.”

Live Story

That involved Samar taking acting classes for two years, which helped her interact with other people and come out of her shell. “I was just able to interact freely, without fear.”

That message of change is something Samar wants to communicate through her music, offering hope to people facing similar emotional challenges.

“I want to say ‘Hey, I see you. I had the same problems and issues, you’re not alone.’ I want to be a voice for people who can’t voice their own difficult feelings.” 

 From the stage to social media, Samar uses TikTok as another platform to connect with her fans. She says the video hosting service is a “simple and quirky” way to interact “without the hassles or obstacles of organising a major video production.”

@samartarikofficial مفيش صاحي بعتمة .. ممكن تبقى صاحي على خبر ان أغنية "برحيلي" فازت بجايزة سيد حجاب للشعر الغنائي لعام 2023 🤍🌿#سمر_طارق #samartarik #برحيلي#مسافات #عتمة #لو #دبل_البستان #fypシ #viral ♬ original sound - Samar Tarik

Speaking of obstacles, I ask Samar what she’s faced as a woman in the music industry.

The question clearly touches a nerve, and Samar responds passionately, “The main obstacle in the artistic community in Egypt is that there are little to no opportunities for female artists. People use the talent and creativity of female artists who don’t have a lot of connections or exposure, without giving them anything in return. They’re not getting the appreciation or the exposure they deserve among that audience.”  

"The main obstacle in the artistic community in Egypt is that there are little to no opportunities for female artists"

Support for female artists is something very close to Samar’s heart, having written, composed and been in the industry for over a decade.

“These lyrics are part of my soul, and I’m exposing that in front of the entire world. So imagine exposing yourself like that and in return, people use you.”   

Live Story

Samar is currently experiencing a burst of popularity in Egypt, but she doesn’t see her own success as an individual achievement.

Instead, she sees this as the first step to open the door for other female creatives. She nods to the people who are here to help artists like her move forward instead of excluding them, showing her appreciation for producers she’s worked with throughout her career. 

So how do things change for the better? In Samar’s eyes, it’s about giving artists the airtime they deserve and shining a spotlight on what’s happening in the Egyptian music scene and culture.

She credits social media with making the world a bit smaller, bringing these experiences closer, no matter where you are in the world.  

Live Story

The future for Samar is equally global – she says that she’d like to explore the world and share her music everywhere, especially her lyrics and the specific emotions they represent, especially emotions without names.

“You have descriptors like 'angry, afraid and loved' but there are some emotions we don’t have the words for. That’s what my lyrics are about.”

Finally, a collaboration with Billie Eilish is on the bucket list due to a deep connection to Billie’s lyrics. 

Now that’s something we want to hear.

Catch Samar in London on November 3. Get your tickets here

Isabella Silvers is a multi-award-winning editor and journalist, having written for Cosmopolitan, Women's Health, Refinery 29 and more. She also writes a weekly newsletter on mixed-race identity, titled Mixed Messages

Follow her on Twitter: @izzymks