Fatima Al QadiriHyperdub
Released: 13th October 2017
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Shaneera is the English mispronunciation of the Arabic word shanee’a, literally meaning "outrageous, nefarious, hideous, major and foul.” In one iteration of the word, as queer slang used in Kuwait and some Arab countries, a positive and desirable light is shed on
these attributes. Shaneera refers to a gender-defying persona, of being an evil queen. You know a Shaneera when you behold one. Over five energetic club tracks, Al Qadiri explores this dark-sided character with friends Bobo Secret (the leading vocalist on the
record), Lama3an, Chaltham, and Naygow, in their debut recorded appearance. The lyrics are suggestive, imploring, shady and loving, some original and some re-recorded material from Grindr chats, online drag and femme comedy skits. The language is a mixture of Kuwaiti and Egyptian Arabic, and one Iraqi proverb, Sonically, the record combines Khaleeji (Arab Gulf), Western drum kits and Arabesque melodies. On the cover, Al Qadiri appears as Shaneera, her evil extreme femme alter ego, the design inspired by stale pop diva record cover imagery from the Arab world. Conceptually, the EP follows Al Qadiri’s long term exploration of gender identity and performance in the Gulf. Her natural look, at odds with the conventional presentation and performance of femininity in the region, is transformed on the cover into a maximum femme look inspired by a mid 2000s Kuwaiti trend of extreme makeup. What would pass at a
cursory glance as femme drag was actually the norm at a specific time in Kuwaiti women’s fashion. ‘Shaneera’ the record lands somewhere in an undisclosed setting and is a love letter to evil and benevolent queens around the world.