Shahira Kamal is a woman of many talents. She paints, she draws, she sings, and writes songs. She embodies every meaning of what an artist is. That’s why we knew she had to be part of our Banat El-Ayam Di book. We spoke to her to know all about her colorful artistic experience.
On the beginning of her journey she said…
“My passion for anything that falls under the word art has been in my blood since I was a child, it’s always been a liberating universe for me.”
“I would isolate myself in my room, write stories and create artworks for them, write songs and their melodies, choreograph dances in my head for imaginary gigs, you name it!”
Despite that, her path wasn’t planned from the start. “I grew up unaware that I could do these things for a living. I did not believe I was actually good at them, and I still doubt it sometimes” she said.
Although Shahira graduated from the faculty of Fine Arts, she started off her career as “a corporate worshipper”, as she charmingly called it, in the marketing field. “The decision to study fine arts only had to do with me wanting to study something I love, I never thought it would be my career.”
Despite learning a lot from corporate life, it only made her realize how important art is to her.
“I realized that creativity, adding something beautiful to the universe, and leaving a legacy no matter how small, meant everything to me. I couldn’t imagine the universe without art and I am an artist.” she said.
She found her way back to art when she started teaching it!
“When I fell in love with teaching art, I started seriously pursuing painting as a career.”
She didn’t stop there, she dabbled in the collage art form as well.
At the beginning of her 30s, (which she described as “pure awesomeness”) she braced herself and jumped into the music scene. After the “Kol Haga Betaady” song became a hit, she started her solo project.
While 2020 was a tough year for everyone, it was the year Shahira Kamal made remarkable achievements…
She had her first solo art exhibition and released her first album. She used the funds from the art exhibition to release the album, and both were titled “Dokki Ya Mazzika”.
Shahira had a strong support system helping her out on her journey. “I’m so grateful to my family and specifically, my mom, for encouraging me to nourish my interest in all forms of art. She made sure art was a part of my life since childhood, took me with her to all sorts of events, being an art worshipper herself. My love for everything, even books and novels all goes back to her.”
When asked how she expresses herself through music and art, she said “Through music, I express what I don’t mind sharing with the universe, words that are relatable to people, and melodies that reflect the emotion. With art, though, it’s more challenging. I share my emotions and thoughts more subtly to give room for people to perceive it in their own way. With shapes and colors, I express what no words can say.”
On the challenges of a career in art, she said…
“A lot of instability comes along with it. However, the same instability comes with entrepreneurship! Yes, it’s a long and difficult road, that’s true. But, everyday has a new flavor. Being an artist is valuable and a worthy experience in and of itself.”
She advises anyone interested in pursuing art as a career to keep a personal mantra of 3 words; consistency, patience, and no fear of rejection.
When asked about the importance of social media for her work, she said “this digital age is a gift to artists! I can easily reach out to anyone for work arrangements or participate in international exhibitions. Also, undoubtedly, social media allowed me to be exposed and inspired by artists from literally every country on earth.”
For the future, Shahira plans to have more live performances and pursue a new direction in recording. As for her art, she’ll have more art exhibitions!