Vibrant and powerful Saudi Arabian artist Rotana continues her Demo Love Series with her delightful new release, “Crime.” With no mastering, mixing, or autotune, Rotana’sDemo Love Series strives to show her music in the most raw and authentic form. The stripped-back demos are a means for Rotana to share her process, to share herself, and also an expression of freedom.
In conversation with Variance Magazine, who premiered “Crime” yesterday, Rotana explained the conception of the song: “I wrote this song with one of my favorite pop writers, Linnea Sodhal. It’s about abandon[ment] and genuinely not giving a fuck. Growing up in Saudi Arabia, I had so little abandon and I really crave it in my life now. I think that’s when magic happens. So yeah, there’s an extreme youth to this song in not caring one bit about what others think, but also a wisdom in knowing that’s is all we’ve got because we’re all going anyway.”
Rotana originally wrote “Crime” for the DJ duo Grey and indie-pop singer Skott and it was released last year as an EDM track. Rotana has always felt a deep connection to this song though and decided to release it as her own single in its original stripped back demo form. Alongside the single, the Saudi songstress has also created a playful music video for “Crime” that gives a glimmer into Rotana’s delightful personality.
Following up Rotana’s past releases, “Bad Weather,” “Loud Love” and “In The Morning,” “Crime” marks the fourth installment in the Demo Love Series. The series will consist of 5 songs total. Each song is accompanied by a lo-fi animation Rotana created in her Los Angeles apartment with her best friends. The visual series is heavily inspired by the Simpsons, specifically Lisa Simpson, and is an ode to weed culture which has been a big influence on its creation. She wears the same gold locket throughout the series, it is of scripture from the Quran, the holy book in Saudi Arabia. The locket follows Rotana wherever she goes as a reminder that we can play and discover new grounds while not forgetting where we came from.
Rotana was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, a beautiful yet complicated place and one of the most conservative environments in the world.
A few years ago, Rotana moved to the U.S. on an employee scholarship from Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world. While studying for her masters at USC, Rotana uncovered her love for music. While always fascinated with storytelling, it wasn’t until getting to LA that she discovered that she could put those stories to melodies and create music for the masses. She quite literally and figuratively discovered her voice. With music, came a path to herself and what she wanted. Rotana quit her job to pursue music full time.
Rotana’s music always feels like heat, an eruption. Every song she writes, whether it’s about love, freedom or rebellion is an invitation to experience an eruption of self. Her debut release “Daddy” put her on the map with strong support from Spotify and Apple Music. With each new release, Rotana reveals more of herself, taking the listener on a journey with her. Collaborating with brands such as Vogue Arabia, Fendi, MiuMiu, and Nasty Gal, Rotana is quickly becoming one of the most sought out young artists.
Rotana’s music is here to fight for going back to a place of intuition, where you are letting the voice inside of you guide and explode. This is 2017. This is Generation Z. This is the future. It is female. It is powerful. It is animal and it is free.