Amaal Nuux, now known simply as “Amaal”, recently debuted her first EP titled “Black Dove” which was released under Public Records/Universal Music Canada. The ambient six-track EP is centred around love and the exploration of self and relationships in the context of cultural expectations. Amaal explained this in an interview with VICE, stating:
“Black Dove, to me, represents letting go of the cultural binds and shackles that kept me from breaking out. To me, doves represent freedom, peace, and tranquillity. The journey I went on felt very similar to that. It felt like I was no longer caring about what other people thought about me and I was no longer ashamed about the experiences I went through, which some societies might try to shame you for. It’s about freedom and empowerment.“
The first track on the EP, “Let Go”, is a dreamy, sultry love song with lyrics where Amaal sings, ‘I never thought I’d do this but I want to get closer to you/I’m shunning them out, letting my heart decide this’. On “Scream” she declares, ‘Nobody gon’ tell me what to do when it comes to you’. On “Coming&Going”, a slow song reminiscent of classic 90s r&b, she sings, ‘Your emotions speaking oceans/Under me/I’ve been liking it/’Cause you’re making ways with your sides’.
Although love and sex are very common themes in traditional and modern Somali songs, with “Black Dove”, Amaal is one of the first Somali women to target an English speaking audience with lyrics that express such themes.
On her decision to openly discuss her love life on this album, Amaal told VICE:
‘As a Muslim woman, you’re not supposed to be in a relationship. When you get to know one another it’s very short, then you get married and there are certain steps you have to be taken. For me to be discussing relationships really put myself out there for criticism from other people. But thankfully, I don’t care anymore and that’s what Black Dove is.’
The EP has been well received, with glowing reviews such as ‘This is a spectacular debut project from a truly inspiring young artist’, ‘Amaal Issues Debut “Black Dove” EP & Plants Her Stake In The Ground’ and ‘Black Dove captures a woman on the rise and an artist that demands attention’.
Stream Amaal’s debut EP “Black Dove” here.