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Your first EP was released under the pseudonym Ayshay. With Genre-Specific Xperience, you started releasing as Fatima Al Qadiri. Why did you abandon that pseudonym?

Having used Islamic a cappella as samples for my first releases, it made sense to use a pseudonym, as this project was a little edgy. I felt like the next record, Genre-Specific Xperience, was way more chill; it was more about my own personal experience of musical genres as breeding grounds for different social groups or ‘tribes’ and lifestyles and vice versa. So it felt more natural to use my real name. And I wanted it to be very clear that it was first of all a woman making this music, and second, that it was an Arab woman making this music. I didn’t want to hide behind a pseudonym anymore.

Why was that important to you at this point, to be clear about your identity?

I had too many conversations with people online that assumed I was male. So there was an impetus for me to put a foot down and to say: I’m a woman and I’m not from the West. And I’m glad I did that because now more people in the Arab world know about me. Also, I thought it was important to give a signal to younger girls there, to let them know: If I can do this, they can do this, too.

— Fatima Al Qadiri in our new issue mono.kultur #43