Aishah Al Banawi
When she took the stage at the 2015 edition of Arabs Got Talent, she blew the judges away with her soulful singing. That glorious moment was the beginning of a journey towards international acclaim for Saudi Arabian singer Aishah Al Banawi, who just this month signed a record deal with renowned singer, producer, and American Idol judge Randy Jackson.
So, who is Aishah Al Banawi? It may seem this Jeddah native with Latin heritage just burst onto the scene from nowhere but this Saudi singer currently based in the States has been working towards this moment her entire life, starting at the age of 4 when she auditioned for a role in Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” in Los Angeles, USA according to Emirates Woman.
Al Banawi’s journey reached a climax when she participated in Arabs Got Talent, her fantastic rendition of Etta James’ “At Last” propelling her into the semi-finals. After that, she focused on finishing her studies and on her next steps towards stardom.
Speaking to Vogue, she explained that after graduating from New York City’s Columbia University, she decided to send her live performances on the show to producer Jackson, and then followed up with him about her visions as a Saudi/Latin artist.
“A few months later, after moving back to LA, we signed a deal. He understood the power within the polarity and intersectionality between my Arab and Latin roots.”
The Saudi songstress was recently spotted at the Grammy’s in a stunning dress designed by her cousin, renowned Dubai-based designer Arwa Al Banawi. She shared her appreciation at being able to attend the star-studded show, saying on her Instagram page that it was a dream come true to.
“Someone once told me, “In the eyes of the public, your success will seem like it happened over night. However, only you know how many years you put into your dreams, and how hard you’ve worked”. I have been chasing these musical waves for a very long time. I have been part of a rock band, played shows in the LA music scene, and signed an indie label. I have been nurturing this dream, taking care of it, and now I’m letting it fly. This constant journey has shaped who I am today,” Al Banawi explained in a 2015 interview on Destination KSA.
Describing her personality to the portal, Al Banawi explained that she is an introvert at heart even if she may come across as energetic and outspoken, and she the things she enjoys the most include prayer, meditation, connecting to nature, and clean eating.
The songstress has lived between the US and Saudi Arabia her entire life. She shared what she loves about being in the Kingdom in a recent Vogue piece, saying, “The food, culture, decadence, and cosmic wildlife! I’ve never seen the stars so clear as I do in the Arabian desert […] I get chills thinking about it.”