Majdal Nijim aka Makimakkuk is a Palestinian artist with versatile musical capabilities and a tact for conveying deep sentiment with her rich voice. The singer engages multiple styles such as trip-hop, folk, experimental, and hip-hop, and along with creating her own music she also is a DJ known just as “Makkuk.” In 2014, Makimakkuk released a sublime EP with producer Sun Glitters from Luxembourgh titled Fada (Spaces).More recently Makimakkuk participated in the Goethe Institut initiative Musikraum, which takes everyday living spaces in houses throughout the Middle East and North Africa, transforming them into intimate performance spaces. They feature artists well known along with ones who are up and coming, in styles both traditional and progressive. The Goethe Institute films these sessions, held in cities from Tunis to Baghdad, so that audiences anywhere can access them.
At the end of September, Makimakkuk performed two songs for Goethe Ramallah, in the beautiful 1920s family home of author Wajih Saadeh, located in the town of Birzeit. The first song, Exodus, is off of her EP with Sun Glitters. Poised on stairs under an arch between ancient stone walls, she proceeds to serenade over the ethereal but driving production of Sun Glitters. The track is energetic and darkly sublime, developing beautifully into a full wave of sound on which Nijim’s canorous voice rides, and the simple rustic scene, filmed in black and white, is gorgeous.The second performance diverts drastically from the first, placing Nijim in the kitchen with an acoustic guitar. She plays Ramallah Etahta, a sentimental and cute singer-songwriter type tune, revealing another side of the musical landscape she traverses.Makimakkuk, though still not having released a lot of material, has proved that she is a talented and compelling artist worth keeping an eye on. Additionally, the Goethe Musikraum project is a brilliant foray into promoting musical performance throughout the Middle East, aimed at addressing the lack of inclusive venues in the region. It is inspiring to see artists like Makimakkuk supported by entities such as the Goethe Institut, and we can rest assured that this is not the end of such mutually beneficial collaboration.