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Encounter 5: Yusra & Moez Battikh of Moez&Yusra


For this installment of Woman, we are taking a subtle spin and have taken the initiative to interview an absolutely incredible Brother and Sister team making waves centered around their love and passion for tasteful collaborative music.

The fingers type with ease when having the chance to speak about Moez&Yusra. The humble and soft character of both makes it easy to fall in love with everything they do, everything they stand for, and ultimately themselves.

Their unfair advantage to the music scene, really is themselves. A truly uncommon duo in every sense. Young, passionate and Canadian with cultural roots that trace back to North Africa. This combination of traits has created a unique blend that is unmistakably theirs and affects their composition and music.

They compose music and write songs together using a combination of guitar, flute and voice. They have performed at various events around Canada including weddings, galas and conferences. They aim to bring good quality music to the world by using live instruments in their performances. Their music has a unique Middle Eastern and Western sound due to their aforementioned background. 

Yusra was born in Toronto where she spent most of her childhood years. She spent her high school years in Montreal and this is where she initially found her passion for playing the flute. She was classically trained on the flute for 9 years and plays piano and guitar while having an beautiful singing voice. She played in a variety of ensembles during her classical music training. Yusra completed her Bachelor of Music Therapy Honours at Wilfrid Laurier University and is currently completing her music therapy internship to become a registered Music Therapist. She works as a support worker where she supports a diverse group of families within the community. Yusra believes in high quality music and is passionate about people, education and music. She holds the belief that music has the ability to empower people. 

Moez was born in Montreal and moved to Toronto at the age of 2 where he spent most of his childhood years. He spent his high school and university years in Montreal. At the age of 14, Moez began memorizing the Holy Quran and enjoyed reciting and listening to its melodies everyday until he completed his memorization at the age of 18. Moez has been writing lyrics since the age of 15 and began composing and performing songs at the age of 17. He went by the artist name Moez Melon as a solo artist and recorded his first album "Honest Artist" produced by rising music producer and filmmaker, Jamie Zampini in 2011. Moez is passionate about justice and social change and discusses important unspoken issues in his songs. Moez hopes to create social and spiritual awareness through his songs. 

What are your long terms plans with Moez&Yusra ? Additionally, can you share any exciting future plans for both of you?:

Our long-term goal is to redefine music through our own lens of perception. Music knows no boundaries, and that's the beauty of it. Anyone can create their own style based on their unique perception, skill and taste. We also hope to build bridges between the east and the west, while addressing common societal issues of our time. As for our future plans, we are focused on releasing our debut album as a brother and sister duo!

How did you first fall in love with music? What is your favourite genre and currently who is being played the most on your iPod?

Yusra: I fell in love with music when I was able to take part in creating it. After learning how to recreate my favourite melodies on my flute I was inspired to create my own melodies. Through this experience I felt an immediate connection with the art of music. Studying the art of music made me appreciate all types of music, which makes it difficult for me to choose my favourite genre. For the sake of choosing I would have to narrow it down to Jazz/ and Classical Middle Eastern sounds. The composer who stole my heart, as well as my “most-played" title on my iPod, would have to be the contemporary work of Amr Ismail.

Moez: I fell in love with music through many different avenues. There was always music in the household. Our parents loved the Arabic classical artists like Oum Kalthoum, Abdel Haleem Hafez, Fairuz, and Lutfi Boushnaq and Adnan Ashawashi. Our household also fostered a great love for the Quran and its recitation. Before ever composing songs I fell in love with melodies through reciting the Quran and hearing other recitors like Abdul Basit, Mashary Alafasi, Mohamad Jibril and Saad Alghamidi. Although I don't generally discriminate too much between genres, I'd have to say acoustic pop is my favourite.  Although the most played artist for me always changes, recently it has been James Bay.

How would you describe your own clothing styles? What are some of your favourite points about each other's style?:

Yusra: The best way to describe my clothing style would have to be down-to-earth, comfortable and simple yet screams stylish. I love urban style fashion. I have to salute Moez for his simplicity and eye for wonderful colour coordination. And of course his ability to always look cute even when his style isn’t on point. 

Moez: I would describe my clothing style as simple, urban, with a hint of hipster. I like how Yusra's style represents a woman who wears the hijab but isn't afraid to do it with style.

How do you balance your careers, activism and personal time? What advice can you share with our readers?:

Yusra: What helps me in balancing my time with my career as a music therapist, musician, daughter, sister, and friend is working with a schedule. I work with goals in mind and try my best to stay organized in my monthly/ weekly/ and daily planning. Working with goals in mind helps keep you focused on what your priorities are and drives your work forward. My advice would be to remember that your personal time is just as important as your work time.

Moez: In my opinion, the key is small and consistent efforts. Depending on your schedule, making sure to fit in even a small time slot to work on projects and developing your craft is crucial for achieving goals. I currently do music more on a part-time basis and this works best for me. 

Who is one of your day to day inspirations, the classical unknown hero in your life that everyone needs to know?:

Yusra: My classical unknown hero would have to be my beautiful mother, God bless her. The unconditional love and patience she has given and taught me needs praising. Her encouragement and belief in my capability to be incredible has fostered my motivation as an aspiring therapist/artist. Of course her incredible cooking skills can’t go unnoticed and that alone needs a standing ovation.

Moez: I would have to say my mother is my inspiration in life, as she is the prime example of how sincerity, hard work and consistency truly pay off. These are attributes, which she fosters in her work and in raising us as kids, and I am forever grateful that I have her as a model to look up to in this regard. 

 

Yusra is wearing: Wool Faux Leather Robe

 

You can check out their work:

Moez&Yusra: https://www.instagram.com/moeznyusra/

Photography by the very talented MohamedHegazi: https://www.instagram.com/mhegazi/


1 comment


  • Reda

    Amazing!! I love these guys :)


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