Youmna Saba

OneBeat 2012 Fellow

Oud Player, Singer

Beirut, Lebanon

Youmna Saba is a mature singer-songwriter of lilting melodies. Pairing her visceral command of melancholic vocals with Arabic-tinted singing style and instruments, Youmna experiments with prepared techniques and the use of non-musical objects in her recordings. While in Beirut to pursue graphic design, Youmna unwittingly made her performance debut one fateful evening at a friend’s art show. This informal, fortuitous invitation, revealed her budding musical talent and catapulted Youmna’s career in a new direction. She circled back to the world of education to build her knowledge in theclassical Arabic repertoire of the 19th and 20th century. In just a few short years, the singer-songwriter has stepped into her own, enraptured by the rich music of her lineage. She has released two EPs of her own stunning material. For Youmna, songwriting has become like a diary, an unconscious natural extension of daily life. Her elaborate knowledge of musical traditions, pensive emotionality, and delicate pop sensibilities are intoxicatingly sympathetic.