If you've ever had the chance to see Rotana play live, you'll know at a glance that her passion for music is extreme. If you've ever had the chance to speak to her, or hear her story - you'll know that "passion" isn't even the right word for it - it's so much more than that.
On the other hand, you may have heard Rotana's story before and wondered how someone could possibly be brave enough to leave everything they know to pursue that passion.
Born and raised to become a "model citizen" and successful oil company executive in Saudi Arabia, Rotana decided that this would not be the only story she is known for. So, she moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of becoming a musician. While that particular backstory is rich with empowerment, and an "easy sell" in today's climate, Rotana refuses to simple be a "noteworthy hashtag." With her new project, The Demo Love Series, she's here to ultimately tell a "human" story about what it's like to love.
"Loud Love" is the first single to be released in the series that Rotana hopes will lead to a deeper connection with listeners. And what better way to hear about its inception than from the artist herself?
Check out the amazing "Loud Love" visual, and read what Rotana has to say about the series, + follow, save and share the song on Spotify!
Art direction: Deema Alansari
Animation: Jordan Brown
"The demo love series is a collection of 5 love songs I wrote over the course the last year and a half. Yes, the topic is love. But this series is actually about something bigger - This series is about freedom…
Freedom to express whatever the fuck I want to express. I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia and moved the US 4 years ago to make music after quitting my job at an oil company. It's an incredible, rich story I have, yes. But I've found myself over the last 4 years being pupated into narratives of 'oppressed Saudi girl comes to America and is free,' like I'm some type of weird protest Barbie. It's as if my value and worth lay primarily in the fact that I, as a Saudi woman am a noteworthy hashtag right now…Don't get me wrong, the story is rich - but I want to tell it on my own terms. I did not leave a place where I felt I was in a box in terms of what I could express as a human/artist to be in another box…
Freedom to allow my process of love be as messy as it is… These songs were written at scattered times over the course of a couple of years. They are all about the same boy I fell in love with… How he was an asshole to me and all I wanted to was to be 'loved out Loud'; How I was in love with his essence that I got to see in rare cosmic moments; how jaded I am and untrusting of men because of my history; how this person can bring out the bravest most daring parts of myself that can create universes - how sometimes, it's just truly not working and you can't pray about it anymore…
For the first time in my life I am navigating my OWN belief system; my relationship to men and love; plant medicines that take my consciousness beyond the blocks.I am navigating freedom. Pushing against stuff to figure out how far I wanna go and where my place is. That is a freedom we all deserve and we so rarely give ourselves."
That's why these are love songs… They have nothing to do with me being Saudi and everything to do with me being human. Isn't that at the core of us all? A deep desire to be human, and to let that be enough?? I demand that. And by demanding that, I am telling myself 'Rotana, you are enough. I got you.'"