sound advice

Electropop Princess Thoom Wants to be Your National Anthem


This is SOUND ADVICE, a weekly destination for playlists curated by Interview’s friends, enemies, and lovers. Over the past few weeks, we’ve gathered playlists by Kaliii, DJ Crazy Times, and Alfonso La Cruz. This week, we pledge allegiance to Beirut-born downtown pop star Thoom, whose newest single “American Terrorist” is an edgy immigrant anthem with an early-2010s electropop vibe. After the release party for her self-described “manifesto song,” she brought us into the studio with a playlist of the tracks she had on repeat while writing “American Terrorist.” “A sexy combination of my English and Arabic influences,” as she calls it, it includes Madonna, our friends at Club Eat, and that unlikely summer hit from The Idol. When you’re done listening, read Thoom’s answers to our SOUND ADVICE questionnaire, in which she tells us about her favorite slept-on Arabic synthpop album and the custom dress she would wear in the apocalypse.


Where do you dance? Wherever!

What’s on your bedroom playlist? I listen to a lot of Arabic music in my room, Iraqi classics. I like to dance to it. Other than that, recently it’s a lot of classic rock, Suicide, Björk, Lana, and Dido. Comfort music. And a lot of Nicki Minaj. I love her so much.

Fuck, marry, kill: Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music? Fuck Soundcloud, kill Spotify, marry Apple then divorce.

Bluetooth or wired headphones? Wired. Bluetooth is always lagging when I use it. Unless it looks better with an outfit. Otherwise, wired is tiny and better. You can stuff them in your pocket, day to night. Better for on-the-go and not as antisocial.

What’s your national anthem? My song, “American Terrorist.”

Who do you trust most with the aux? Ren G from Club Eat.

What was your first concert? I have no recollection!

Name a song that reminds you of your childhood: Soapkills – “Dub4me”

If you could work with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be? I wanna work with Noah Goldstein, Chicken, and Abo Sahar. 

Name your favorite artist no one knows about: Y.A.S. (Yasmine Hamdan) and Mirwais, who used to produce Madonna. They only released one album called Arabology and I really love some of the songs. No one has ever done an Arabic pop album like that before or since. 

The world is ending, what are you wearing? My custom pink Palestinian keffiyeh dress by House of Iconica! 

Where’s the afters? No crackheads at mine, but I know a good roof.

What song do you have on repeat? Y.A.S. – “Da”

What’s your favorite album cover of all time? I love M.I.A.’s Arular cover.

What do you listen to when you’re high? Julee Cruise if I’m alone.

Who’s the queen of pop? Madonna.