Nadya Shanab released her latest single “In a Box” on Sunday 26th of November, 2022. In a Box discusses the real overpowering issues women struggle with nowadays. The song features many examples of how women are labeled so other people could control them. The music video took place at Ubuntu Art Gallery, also stressing on the idea that women are being “exhibited” everywhere.
The music video is powerful and it shows diversity to female struggle in general. From child marriages to men forcing their opinions on what women should do with their bodies. In a Box is truly an honest and true representation of what women are going through and continue to go through every single day.
In a Box BTS
To that, Nadya Shanab commented on the message she wants to send through In a Box and said, “I wanted to challenge and protest women’s position in the patriarchal Egyptian society. The molds enforced upon us on a daily basis – from sexual harassment to being silenced or expected to be demure etc.”
“I wanted to make a statement refusing to conform and encouraging other women to do the same. To live their lives the way they want to free from expectations and restrictions that hold them back just because they are women.” Nadya continued
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By the end of the music video, we see all the women breaking free, finally standing up to their oppressors, to the very figures that prisoned and labeled them. In that, we experience so much power and see every woman as she truly is; unwavering and powerful.
Nadya Shanab spoke about her process of writing the song. She originally wrote the lyrics in 2016 and revisited it in 2021. She then was put in touch with Shahyn who gave her pointers on how to improve her flow and strengthen her performance.
“Once we recorded the track in its final format I wanted a video that matched its weight, with witty layers and references just like the lyrics. After being introduced to Mona Daoud by the actress Sarrah Abdelrahman, she pitched the video concept to me and we ran away with it.” Said Nadya Shanab on the process.
In a Box Easter Eggs
Nadya also spoke to us about the many Easter Eggs in the video, making it more powerful for anyone who’s watching. Nadya expressed that she wanted to touch upon how women are often treated as a commodity or a product that a man can buy and own. Moreover, Restrictions on what is appropriate behavior or attire for a woman to make her more worthy.
“There were also subtle references to FGM. It was to an incident that happened a few years ago where a man said “el 3ando me3za yerbot-ha” hence the lyrical reference. Moreover, the little girl wearing a goat-inspired mask. The lyrics “hal el mar2a ensan” refers to an online lecture or seminar delivered by some Sheikh that I had seen a post for on Facebook that was titled ‘Are women human?’”
More on Nadya Shanab
Nadya Shanab comes from a great line of activists. Her grandfather, Mohamed Fayek was the president of the National Council of Human Rights. He was also the founder of the Arab Organization for Human Rights. Mohamed Fayek always stood for what is right alongside many great people, which greatly affected Nadya Shanab’s upbringing. Therefore, Nadya’s strong voice to fight for women comes from her passionate upbringing.
It is noteworthy to say that most of the people who worked on the music video are women, making it a one-of-a-kind sisterhood. As a result, this allows more women to feel safe and represented. Another important thing to note is that Nadya insisted on keeping her natural grey hair in the video. It is another nod to women being expected to dye their hair and the controversialness of going grey. It is an act of resistance towards another unrealistic expectation of women to keep them “perfect”.
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In a Box is not only a representation of what women go through, but it is also a call for women to feel safe. It is a call to act up when they’re not comfortable. It is a call to take shelter in the women around them and take power from their strength. In a Box is a beautiful tribute to women, and we truly can’t wait to see more of what Nadya Shanab will do.
In a Box Credits
Directed by Mona Daoud
Lyrics & Composition: Nadya Shanab
Music Production: @sintaxmusic5987
Sound Recording & Mixing & Mastering: Fadi Farid – Studio: S4L
Music Executive Production & Social Media Management: @fada_arts
Music Distribution: @SoutElHobrecords
Asistant Director: Soha Belal
DOP: Mohamed Hossam
Producer: Beshoy Ayman / Sarah El Shazly
Assistant Producer: Foad Mohamed
Post Production: Nancy Ragab
Costume Designer: Nermine Said
Makeup Artist: Mayar Abd El Kader
Hair: Bella: Ali
Nails: The Nail Factory: Hagar Attia
Photography: Fatema Yasserr / Jonathan Rashad
Artwork Design: Amir Abd El Fattah
Special Thanks to:
Ahmed El Dabaa
Sarah Abd El Rahman
Ubuntu Art Gallery