Zazuka (she/her) is the artist name of Jordanian-born Berlin-based composer, sound designer, and songwriter Zeina Azouqah. At times atmospheric and at times percussive, her music utilizes both acoustic and electronic elements. She started her path in music as a keyboard and piano player in bands, theatres, and Sufi poetry groups.
Through these multicultural experiences, she developed an authentic style for intercultural music arrangements and composition. Some of her pieces have been performed by the renowned Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg and by the intercultural chamber orchestra Babylon Orchestra in Berlin.
As a singer-songwriter she has released two chamber-pop and classical crossover singles, Turn Everything and Hudna with string quartet, and released her eponymous first album in October 2019. Various versions of her songs and arrangements have been performed by singers of all genres from Arabic Classical and Opera to Cabaret. After moving to Germany in 2009, she completed her studies in Film and Animation in Nuremberg and entered the world of film music, scoring various short and medium-length films and working as a score editor for feature film productions, as well as providing sound design for animated films.
Zazuka is also a member of ATEM e.V. Rockcamps and Creative Social Projects for Girls and Nonbinary Youth, the Track15 Female* Composers Collective, and WiFTG Women in Film and Television Germany, and was nominated for the Peer Raben Music Award 2020 for the soundtrack to Revolvo.
Zazuka: "Hudna is about women* who are hanging on to the last shreds of hope and the shirts of their loved ones lost to war. All proceeds go to aiding women* who have fled their homes due to war and have come to Berlin, where I live and am involved in the community.
Hudna is a track I wrote after an encounter with an activist in Turkey, who was supporting a relief organization by distributing essential items such as blankets, food, and clothes to people who had fled the war in Syria to Turkey and were stranded in a place with zero infrastructure, i.e. no schools or hospitals, and no registration of anybody who arrived there because it was not an official camp. As I was listening to her, I realized that, while volunteering for the Syrians who came here to Germany for refuge, I never let my feelings bubble up to the surface, because they would render me useless in that moment... and when this volunteer in Turkey told me about how she asked one woman in the so-called camp, "What can we do, what do you need? We feel so helpless," she was told simply: "Nothing. Just tell the world about our plight. Tell them our story." And that's when I broke down in tears; as soon as I got home I started writing this song with the voice of this nameless woman I did not know. I imagined her stranded, just looking up at the stars and satellites, trying to keep her strength together to continue."
Hudna, هُدنةBy Zazuka, independent release in 2017 Music, lyrics, arrangements, and production by Zeina Azouqah
But we carry our homes inside us
Our homes are in front of us
Like a mirage
But we hold on tightly to our dreams
We hold on tightly to the clothes of those who went before us
We still hang them up on the clothes-line
Their colours flutter upon the wind with the sand and ashes
We also hang many things on the stars
We hang our hopes and worries
We turn our heads to the heavens, away from the ruins
Somebody sees us up there
Sees us in this state
Surely, someone has exposed us
Water and tears flow
Rain upon the remains
Nothing is left dry
We wash the clothes of those who went before us
We still hang them on the clothesline
Their colours flutter upon the wind, between the sand and ashes
Spread the news
Let it flood every home
We’re not on anyone’s radar
It’s like nothing happened
We don’t want anything except for our story to be told
After everything that’s happened