The vibrant, 21-year-old Dutch-Kurdish singer-songwriter Naaz Mohammed, known simply as Naaz, won two prizes at a major European music awards ceremony on Friday in the Netherlands.
The Music Moves Europe Talent Awards describes itself as “the new European Union Prize for popular and contemporary music,” celebrating “emerging artists who represent the European sound of today and tomorrow.”
Naaz was among the eight winners of the 2020 edition, including the Public Choice Award, which carries a cash prize of 5,000 Euros.
She grew up in the Netherlands, developing her musical sensibilities and skills somewhere between the Dutch and Kurdish cultures. The young artist initially produced her own songs with a midi keyboard which she got from her brothers for her fifteenth birthday, publishing them, like so many performers of her generation, on YouTube.
However, due to her Kurdish roots, Naaz needed some strength and time to convince her parents of her passion, the cultural guide website Go Out writes. But now, her parents have become her biggest fans.
In 2016, her first single “Sadboy,” received a lot of attention. Within a year, she released three more songs, “Words,” “Can’t,” and “Up To Something,” all of which made it to the Top 15 on the Dutch charts.
On her debut EP, “Bits of Naaz (2018),” she tells eight stories that have fascinating imagery, are profound in their own way, and create a unique sound with her unmistakable soprano voice.
She also won several other prizes for her songs, including two Edison Awards, an annual Dutch music prize “awarded for outstanding achievements in the music industry.” In 2017, she was also nominated for the XITE Awards in the categories of Best Music Video and Best Kickstart.