During a time when Top 40 radio is being maligned for its uninspiring music, Inas X is hoping to be the antidote. The rising Palestinian-American powerhouse knows how to craft a flawless pop track. Her latest hit, “Stupid,” has taken Spotify by storm, racking up over 2.7 million listens. The radio-ready earworm track features relatable lyrics about a toxic relationship, a hard-hitting chorus, and a verse from hip-hop artist PnB Rock.
Inas’ music is influenced by pop, hip-hop, reggae, dancehall beats and Middle Eastern sounds. She wrote her first hit, “Love Is,” in celebration of the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to be married. The song reached #11 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart and got her signed to Fetty Wap’s record label, RGF Productions.
Recently, Inas decided to part ways with RGF to pursue her own path. She is all about empowerment; whether it’s empowering herself by managing her health (she was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis) or empowering others through her music and philanthropic work. She is currently working on an album to be released later this year.
Inspirer spoke to Inas about her recent diagnosis, why she chose to leave her record label to do her own thing, and what to expect from her next.
When did you first discover that you wanted to create music?
I did my first performance in the 1st grade. I was Cher and sang “I Got You Babe.” It wasn’t until I was 18 that I had the courage to go against the grain and really pursue my dreams. It was hard, but I was consistent and did not give up on my dreams and vision. Now other people see what I first saw in myself and I’m so proud of that.
How did you develop your songwriting skills?
Writing every day. I believe in the 10,000 hour rule. If you do something for 10,000 hours, you master it. I write songs, stories, quotes, feelings — everything.
You incorporate a lot of Middle Eastern sounds into your music. How did your Palestinian background influence your love for music growing up?
My mom always listened to a lot of Arabic music. I love the sounds they use, and their topics and concepts. I want to show all the beauty that my culture has to offer, especially with all the stereotypes and stigmas going on. My job is to change people’s perspective and show the creative, beautiful side to things that people can’t see.
Were you ever bullied in school? Did that shape your artistry and your drive to create music?
Yes, I’ve had to deal with a lot of jealousy and unfair treatment. When I was younger, I was never understood. People I was so nice to would turn on me and I used to blame myself. As I got older, I got stronger.
Speaking of overcoming adversity, you were recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. What has it been like balancing your growing music career with keeping yourself healthy?
I take my health very seriously. I have daily practices and mantras I do. I work out, eat very healthy, drink a lot of water, do yoga, acupuncture, body scrubs and try to have little to no stress around me.
“Stupid” is such a relatable song. Have you been surprised by the huge response to it?
I have been surprised. It’s been amazing. I went through such a bad time and bad relationship and the best thing that came out of it was this song. I am so happy people relate and feel me.
Back in 2015, you signed with Fetty Wap’s record label, RGF Productions, but recently left to pursue your own path. What made you decide to leave?
It was a great experience. I learned a lot, but it was not the right place for me. I wish them nothing but the best. One day I will tell my full story and explain all that has happened, but for now, I’m focused on the positive and success.
The “x” in your stage name references Malcolm X and you’ve said that it symbolizes empowerment and freedom. Besides writing and performing music, what’s the number one thing you do to feel strong and empowered?
Creating in general, working out and getting my health right — and philanthropy work, like food drives, and things people don’t even know I get involved in! Helping and empowering other people empowers me.
Are you working on an album right now? What can we expect to hear from it?
Yes! Lots of new sounds, new feels, new vibes, new experiences. Been going through so much, so happy to be able to share and express myself through my art. My hope is to help someone else get through what I’ve gone through! Even if it’s one person, I’m happy!