Music has always been a deep-rooted passion that I never dared to touch upon until the war in Syria taught me that life is worth living. My passion for music became the most precious and empowering aspect of my life. I still remember how I always spent my time dreaming of singing while commuting by bus between Aleppo, where I studied architecture, and Homs, my hometown.
Homs is a small town where various kinds of boundaries are placed on female potential and creativity. Growing up there, I wasn’t allowed to think of music as a future career. The influence of family, society and culture forced me to take music as a hobby, and as such, I was forced into choosing a different path. When the war broke out, I witnessed my family lose everything and friends and people dying. At that moment I understood that my dream of having a career in music was the only thing worth living for and the only thing that no one could take away from me; achieving it became my first priority.
In the midst of the ongoing devastating civil war in Syria, I kept a promise I made to myself, which was to not stop taking singing classes under any circumstance. During the war, every Wednesday, I would travel from Homs my home town to Damascus the capital, through war zones, just to take an hour private singing class.
I fought my way and made it to Berklee College of Music, the first step in my dream. I want to be an example for those who have been through war and strife to believe that nothing is impossible.
Jemina is a composer, pianist, vocalist and producer based in New York City. She is a Berklee College of Music alumni where she entered with a Presidential Scholarship to pursue studies in Piano Performance.
Jemina was born and raised in Europe, in a Franco-Algerian family and moved the the US in 2017; having been exposed from a young age to multiple cultures and music it is without surprised that Jemina’s compositions can be described as cross cultural or multi cultural, creating a music at the intersection of classical, jazz, electronic, avant-garde, North African folklore and more.
Although her first instrument is piano, Jemina started developing an interest for the voice early on; listening to jazz records she discovered scat through Ella Fitzgerald and is, still to this day, fascinated by the power and emotional intensity vocalists can deliver even with a wordless approach to music. A lot of Jemina’s music pays tribute to that vocal jazz legacy and to the artists (Ella Fitzgerald, Meredith Monk…) that have been reclaiming the voice as an instrument.
Jemina released two album, her debut one “22” during the pandemic, a project recorded mostly remotely, including a team of musicians from more that eight different nationalities, and a second one “Daydreamer”, where she explores once more her love for cross cultural music and music crossing genres with songs such as “Rising Sun” where metal sonorities and classical influences meet: