On the breathtaking oriental pop song ‘Misery’, Danish-Israeli singer NAYAH sings about drowning in the mysterious game of love. The song was written and recorded on a sunny winter day during a stay in Israel and will be released on 1 March.
NAYAH has become synonymous with songs about unhappy and unattainable love, and ‘Misery’ is certainly no exception. But while the themes will be familiar to her listeners, the soundscape on her new release has moved south-east.
Since switching from Danish to English lyrics in 2021, NAYAH has been dabbling in an electronic pop universe, but on ‘Misery’ she brings her Middle Eastern heritage into play for the first time. This is reflected in the song’s catchy melody, and the chorus in particular features a darbuka drum, which adds to its grand Eastern mysticism.
Written in Israel
Although Nayah, whose surname is Dahari, has lived in Denmark all her life, she often makes lengthy visits to Israel, where she has family. On one of these visits, her regular producer team Sebastian Owens and Marcus Elkjer came to visit with an improvised studio setup.
“My family is Yemeni, and if there’s one thing they’re known for in Israel, it’s their love of Oriental Yemeni music and their contribution to the musical culture of the community, even today. So when we wrote and recorded ‘Misery’ on a sunny winter’s day, we were inspired by my upbringing, the local music and especially the tonal intervals that characterise the melodies there. We felt that the lyric’s description of a love affair quietly drowning in guesswork and uncertainty was well staged by the oriental mysticism,” she says.
In 2015, NAYAH’s song ‘Bad Bitches’ was voted ‘Track of the Week’ on Denmark’s biggest radio station P3. In 2021 she reinvented herself musically, swapping Danish lyrics for English.
With musical influences such as Kaytranada, Brandy, Aaliyah and Kelela, she moved in a much more RnB-inspired direction with her regular production team Sebastian Owens and Marcus Elkjer. Since then, all of her releases have been featured on Spotify’s New Music Friday Denmark.