Revamping Tunisian Pop Culture

Radouan Labidi, the multi-cultural rocker

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Contemporary Tunisian-German musician, photographer and graphic designer Radouan Labidi (@rad_lasmar) , reflects his heritage, upbringing and identity into his music – and dishes his experience right here!

Born in Germany and raised in Tunisia, this multicultural artist has a lot to express after leaving his hometown(s) to study abroad. In his music and videos, he focuses and Tunisian heritage as a way of preserving his identity with a little revamp of pop culture.

What is your music genre and the story behind why you chose it?

I would describe my music as Rock alternative, more specifically Tunisian Rock, since the guitar is mostly present in my songs and the lyrics are Tunisian. English songs are amazing, and so is the Tunisian language, and I want to create cool songs with Tunisian lyrics.

How do you reflect your heritage in your music and videos?

Tunisian history and anything traditional always had a strong effect on me which I reflect on my music, whether doing covers of old traditional songs and represent them in a new wave, or shooting videos in authentic places, or wearing Tunisian clothes, it’s just so rich that I wish I had more time to release all my art whether visual or musical.

I am trying to stay true to my identity. I have been constantly travelling around the world – thereof I want to personally stay in touch with my culture with my music.

Primarily, I think traditional Tunisian music needs a revamp; hence a rebranding to make it look contemporary, young, and fresh.

What achievement do people recognize you for?

My proudest achievement yet is a song with my previous band in Tunisia, Marmada, called “ami ennoubli” and people remember me for that. We played it in concerts around Tunisia and Morocco and went viral on youtube.

How would you describe your sound as different than other artists? How did you experiment with the music in creating your own lane?

Most of the scene in Tunisia is from rap music, reggae, and traditional music. Even our rock bands are mostly in English. There aren’t enough mixes with Tunisian lyrics – that’s how I find my music unique.

How do you see the current state of the music industry in the UAE? What changes would you like to see happen? Or what do you think will happen?

I was super glad about the Wasla festival in Dubai, which opened a way for alternative music in Dubai; it would be great to have more of these festivals

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