Listening to this mini-album by Meryem Saci makes us dream of a better world. A world where pop music would be a vehicle for open-mindedness, going against the unhealthy winds that guide too many current decision-makers, who make their money by betting on the fear of others. To the usual components of today’s pop music – mainly soul, R&B and hip hop – the Algerian-born Montreal singer adds elements from her native culture.
In addition to charming us with the oriental influences present in her confident singing, she has enlisted the services of oud player Ali Omar El-Farouk and percussionist Youcef Grim. As for kora player Emde Mamoutou, he brings West African colours to the track “Hustla”. This hybridized version of pop by the artist, who also works with the Nomadic Massive collective, may not upset the genre’s codes from top to bottom, but it’s good to hear it. Concocted with the help of Mario Sevigny and Jyce, who assist her in the production, the groovy soul that Saci offers us proves to be very effective, especially on the irresistible “Eyes on Me” and “Outta Here”.