Siren-Song and Angelic Melodies: This is Nemahsis

Written by on February 22, 2024

Born Nemah Hasan, Palestinian-Canadian pop rock singer Nemahsis recently went viral for singing Lorde’s “Team” a capella over photos and videos of her country, beautifully capturing her people and her land’s strength and resistance. The cover compelled me to learn more about her, and I was entranced by her siren-like voice and moving lyrics. Though she has a limited discography, it’s littered with quite a handful of excellent songs, so I decided to highlight my top five.

1. immigrant’s tale

The girl, who is the subject of the song, is called an innocent attention-seeker who wants to see the world, and had never left her hometown until she was forced to. Nemahsis dedicates the melancholy string-heavy track, “immigrant’s tale” as a tribute to her mother, who left the West Bank to be able to provide her children a better life. The instrumental pulls at your heartstrings, and the listener yearns for this girl to be okay, to see the world on her own terms. 

2. i wanna be your right hand

Released in February of last year, this song is an indie pop rock dream. Paired with an eccentric music video, “i wanna be your right hand”, is more upbeat compared to the rest of Nemahsis’ discography and features the singer dancing and jumping around a professional setting quite carelessly. One listen, and it instantly became a favorite. The steady, familiar drum beat along with her alluring vocals makes it impossible to resist a head nod or two and hum along. Unfortunately, Nemahsis was dropped from her label in October of 2023, and has not released any new music since. Fans – including myself – eagerly await the singer’s return.

3. what if i took it off for you?

Originally a fashion and beauty TikToker, a collaboration with a popular beauty brand gone wrong was the direct inspiration for Nemahsis’ debut single, “what if i took it off for you?” In this situation, she was denied payment and requested that the brand not use the pictures of her. The lyrics show that the singer felt foolish for believing the brand appreciated her for what she had to offer, instead of just making the brand look good. Though the single has a relaxing melody, releasing the song took mountains of courage and is a testament to Nemahsis’ strength and artistry.

4. hold on to me

This beautiful, haunting ballad can tug at the heartstrings of any woman. I instantly connected to this song and took it as a tribute to women who came before the current generation, who are now inspired to be so much more than we once thought we could achieve. The second verse is such a simple yet compelling piece of poetry, one that simultaneously weighs me down with guilt and fills me with hope. Personally, no one song has ever made me feel directly contradicting emotions, but “hold on to me” manages to execute it perfectly.

5. dollar signs

Every single person has dreams, a goal to accomplish, a certain status of wealth they want to reach- but it’s hard to imagine it’s possible when people who have accomplished their dreams have vastly different experiences from you. Nemahsis says that she’s the “voice you want with a face that you need,” but goes on to call herself a “fraud” and asks for forgiveness from her audience. Though it may be a common dream to be an inspiration for the younger generation, Nemahsis warns of looking up to her since her journey to success as a Muslim woman of color has not been the easiest.

  • Mariana Hernandez

    Hi! I'm Mariana, a freshman studying Psychology here at UH. Currently stressing about finals and obsessing over AtLA. Talk to me on Instagram! @annqiram

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