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US-based Saudi Singer Rotana Tarabzouni Meets Younger Self in ‘Twelve’

The track comes as her fourth single release ahead of debut album, ‘Alien of Extraordinary Ability’.

Named as one of the BBC’s 100 Women 2015, US-based Saudi artist Rotana ​​Tarabzouni continues to make headlines. A singer and songwriter telling of her journey towards self-realisation in the face of Saudi Arabian traditions in religion, sexuality, and family, as well as speaking of her experiences as a U.S. migrant, Rotana Tarabzouni’s lyrics are an illustration for many of the ‘third culture kid’ experience.


In a new music video ‘Twelve’, Rotana meets her younger self and places emphasis on the hardships of growing up in a country grappling with a taboo around women’s rights, and even touches on the subject of death. ‘Twelve’ becomes the fourth release from her upcoming debut album, Alien of Extraordinary Ability, which also happens to be her immigrant status label in the US.The song looks back at her hormonal transformations as a 12-year old, and feelings of pain, awkwardness, and beauty. She describes it as “though you are terrified, there is a deep peace and excitement there too.”


Alexander Vincent provides a piano-focused beat, adding layers of droning synth and vocal chops with minimal use of percussion, while the video represents someone trying to imitate another, adopting a fictional character, before accepting and becoming who one really is.


Beyond music, Rotana also recently launched her ‘F*D & Blessed’ web series, an educational comedy show exploring sexuality, self-pleasure, boundaries, and body positivity, among other aspects.