Elyanna doesn’t take her role as a Palestinian-Chilean musician lightly at all. Every aspect of her art from the production to the songwriting, choreography and fashion is thoughtfully curated by Elyanna to make sure she is expressing her love for her culture in everything she does. On a current high from the release of her debut album “Woledto“, we sat down with Elyanna to learn all about her and what she has coming up next!  


You’ve spoken about how your music is influenced by your Palestinian-Chilean culture, but can you talk more about your favorite aspects from your culture and how that is reflected in your music?   

I’ve been heavily influenced by my culture & my roots, I’m very proud to be Palestinian and Chilean. It’s very important to me to embrace both sides, and it comes very naturally because it’s who I am, it’s the way I’ve been raised – and I always like to learn & dig deeper into my roots.  

I get more and more inspired everyday: it inspires my art, my music, fashion, style, vision, videos, choreography. We have so many unique elements in our culture, & the world needs to see it.  

In your hit song “Sad in Pali” you sample your grandfather’s poetry freestyle. Talk to us more about why this song is so special to you and the backstory on how it came about.   

We wrote that song when we were visiting back-home, we felt a disconnect from everything that day, that’s why it’s called “Sad in Pali” (Palestine). This song is very special because it feels like a journey. It’s the longest song I have on the album, the last song on the album, and ends with a poem dedicated to my hometown, with grand violin sounds.   

We spent months working on it, and we let the song lead the way, that’s why it feels free and experimental. We included dabkeh sounds, pianos, “mejwez” (clarinet) and Arabic synth. This song is extra special because we sampled my grandfather singing the intro of the song. 

Your culture is so unique and beautiful, and you really make an effort to include that into your fashion. Talk to us about your fashion style and how it ties into your culture.   

I love it when fashion is timeless, just like music. I think of it this way: 10 or 20 years from now, I want young kids to reference me and my style. I’ve always loved fashion, always enjoy designing, drawing and creating something out of a simple piece of fabric.  

I’m so lucky to be able to collaborate with my sister Tali, who is a designer, for most of my looks (including on stage). We always try to use beautiful cultural things from our hometown in Nazareth and find a twist to modernize it. The coins, the embroidery, the headpieces…we bring it to life here.  

You’ve spoken about how when you create music, you’re also thinking about the movements you can make to it. Tell us more about how you and your choreographer create dances for your songs.    

I feel the strongest outcome comes from live performances. When you put so much hard work into it, it always pays off. I really have so much fun working on my set list, I love to sample different things in the show from different cultures, which definitely inspires my moves and choreography. 

 As an Arab girl, of course belly dancing comes naturally to me, but I’ve always wanted to mix it with a touch of hip-hop & tribal fusion as well. I love creating with my choreographer – who’s from Japan – and it just so happens that I have Japanese-inspired movements included in all my choreography. Dancing is just embracing what I’m singing about and expressing how I feel through my body. 

Last year you performed at Coachella, where you made history as the first artist to perform in Arabic at the festival. Talk to us about the creative process behind preparing for this performance and how you felt afterwards.   

It’s such an honor to make history at Coachella at 21-years-old for being the first artist to sing in Arabic on stage! I’m always grateful that I had this opportunity to express my art, music, and culture at such an iconic festival like Coachella.  

Being able to bring our Middle Eastern instruments, language, vocal runs, and a little extra spice onto the stage – as well as introduce the world to a new sound, and to push boundaries has always been my goal. I will continue to champion this as much as possible. I may be the first but I’m definitely not the last!  

Do you have any upcoming music festivals in North America this year?   

Yes! A few festivals and performances in North America were just announced – Lollapalooza Chicago, Governors Ball, Osheaga, and more to come! I’m super excited to perform my new music and expand my show even more. I’m also excited to see other artists perform live, it inspires me.  

A few months ago, you made your debut in North American with your first sold out tour. Tell us about your experience touring 10 cities and what you learned from your American fan base and performing live here.   

I loved being on tour! Meeting all my fans was so fulfilling. Since I was a little kid, my dream was to be on tour and perform on stage, and now I can’t believe that this is my reality! I learned a lot being on tour – good and bad, and I want to embrace all of it to continue to grow.  

I’m so proud to see the Arab community and fans coming together, singing my songs (even if they might not understand all the lyrics), embracing different cultures with their looks, clothes, and accessories. Overall good vibes! I felt being on stage, I connected with my fans even more. I can’t wait to tour again. 

How do you mentally prepare for a performance?   

Finally, after touring, I’m ready to answer this question! I like to start my day very peacefully: I stretch and listen to piano tracks in the background. Then, I get on a video call with my vocal coach, and we run some vocal exercises together. 

 When at the venue, I do a quick but extensive sound check, get dressed, warm up, surround myself with my family, friends and team, and all the people I love. I pray and then I go!! 

As you rise in popularity, so does your fan base. Can you talk to us about how you’re building a special bond with your supporters?   

My Habibis (my loves in Arabic), my “Yannas” are the best! I believe that my bond with my fans is deeper than the music. It just feels like we’re all part of something together. I work harder and I am inspired by them. They’re just like me, I can be friends with all of them! 

I try my best to communicate with them on social media, and of course after each show when I get the chance to meet them, it feels like we’re building a special bond.  

You’ve been working on your new debut album “Woledto” for the past two years. From writing to creating a unique sound for this project, what are you most excited about when it comes to this project vs. your past EP’s?   

This project feels personal. It brought me back to my roots, to who I am. In this album, I involved myself in every little detail, and put my heart and all my feelings into it. It shows another layer of who I am, who I’m becoming, and who I want to be.  

It’s raw and not about perfection, it’s about freedom in the lyrics, the production and melodies. It does not feel safe, it’s unpredictable, which excites me. I worked on it with my brothers, Massari and Nasri – whom I’ve been working with since day 1. 


What are some cultural influences that we will hear on your new album?   

I have no features on this album, my only “feature” is my grandpa in “Sad in Pali”. Most of the songs created on the album came from our small humble living room / studio. It starts with my brother on the piano, and we slowly create melodies to it. Everything is from scratch, everything is tailored.  

One of my favorite tracks on the album is “Kon Nafsak”. It came from a piano piece that my brother recently released, “Delilah”. I’ve always loved that piano piece. And every other song on that album is intentional and has its own meaning.  

Most of my influences came from my hometown Nazareth, Palestine & Viña Del Mar, Chile. I love the fusion in the sound, blending Arabic cultural mawal (freestyle), synths/Arabic synth/mejwez (Arabic instrument), mixed with urban, and pop. It’s very hard to define the genre yet you still understand it. 

You have a close relationship with your brother who is a heavy part of your musical process and that you’ve discussed a bit so far. Talk to us about your family and how they are a part of your journey as a musician.   

I’m so lucky to have my family by my side. That’s what keeps me going. It’s like it was meant to be! Each family member has a different talent that can work with the other, and we continue building and inspiring each other.  

My brother Feras and I always had a connection with art and music. We complete each other’s ideas. Creating this album with him was a big challenge for both of us because we experimented a lot visually and musically. 

 I’m so proud of our growth and passion. We’ve always done this growing up and now it’s on a bigger platform. My mom and sister also play a big part in my career. My sister styles me – on and off stage. It’s a no-brainer to me because she knows my body better than I do!  

My mom helps me write my songs, she’s a writer and the daughter of a poet (my grandpa whom I mentioned we sampled in “Sad in Pali”). It’s a family thing! 

Who would your dream collaboration be with?   

There are so many artists that I admire and am curious what a collaboration with them would sound like. It has to make sense and feel personal. I like building relationships with people around a collaboration. Not just a random feature. An artist I really like is Kali Uchis. I’m a big fan of many artists in the Arab world and outside of it. It’s always about the music first for me. 

What are your favorite memories from your childhood in Nazareth?   

Nazareth is so beautiful, I’m grateful that I was born and raised there. Everything about it made me who I am today. The culture, people, food, strong women, colors, and nature… so many elements I can name. Everyone is warm and welcoming. I feel the same way when I’m in Chile. The cultures are far in distance but close in its people.  

You’ve been living in LA for a while now so we must know, what are your favorite things to do in LA so far?   

I love how fast everything moves in LA. It keeps me motivated. I love spending time with the people I love. I enjoy shopping, especially at thrift stores! I spend time with my friends as much as I can, I love going out for coffee at cute spots in LA, although I make very good Arabic coffee!  

What’s your current skincare routine?   

My grandma and my mom always used olive oil from Palestine on their faces. They’ve always had beautiful skin, so that’s my skincare routine. Simple but works like magic!! 

Give us 3 beauty products that you can’t live without?   

Fenty lip gloss, Simihaze Beauty blush, and my perfume. I love perfumes! I love it when people remember my scent. 

What’s next for Elyanna? Anything you can share exclusively with Galore readers? 

My album just dropped, which I’m very excited to perform on stage at The Wiltern in Los Angeles on April 27th, and at Koko in London on May 6th. Can’t wait to see you all there! 


Editor in Chief: Prince Chenoa (@princechenoastudios)

Feature Editor: Taylor Winter Wilson (@taylorwinter)

Cover Art Design: Carlos Graciano (@sadpapi666)

Photographer: Abi Polinsky (@abipolinsky)

Photographer Assistant: Lila Flowers (@lilaflowerss)

Stylist: Tintein Studio (@tintein.studio)

Makeup Artist: Pauly Blanch (@paulyblanch)

Hair Stylist: Laura Rugetti (@laurarugetti)

Gimme More POP

Do You Like?

Some things are only found on Facebook. Don't miss out.