Merna Bishouty

Born in Jordan, R&B-oriented singer and songwriter Merna Bishouty spent time living in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, and Seattle prior to settling in Toronto. During childhood, through her parents, she was exposed to a wide range of music. As a performer, she originally went by Ayah and appeared on songs by rapper eLZhi ("The Leak"), producer Slakah the Beatchild ("State of the Game"), and bassist Robert Strauss ("Odyssey Man," "True Lies") in 2008 and 2009. In 2011, she teamed with DJ Jazzy Jeff for Back for More, a lively album released on Bandcamp as a free digital download. After collaborating once more with Slakah on "Keep Up," a highlight of Soul Movement, Vol. 2, Bishouty went by Merna and recorded The Calling with Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Makai Black as executive producers. The cathartic and grand album, tricked out with strings and thunderous drums, was released on W.A.R. Media in 2014. ~ Andy Kellman

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