Video Premiere: Marie Haddad’s “Jdita” Blends Heritage with Wonder

JDITA still - Marie Haddad

Marie Haddad is a shape-shifter, constantly moving and changing, trying new styles and creating new worlds through music. Her latest album is the artist’s most diverse, and it is “Jdita,” an homage to the artist’s Middle Eastern roots, that helps Marie Haddad establish herself as a multiverse of sound, story, and wonder.

I walk along an ancient road
stories etched in every stone
I search for what’s been incomplete
a piece of me that’s here
near Jdita
Watch: “Jdita” – Marie Haddad


Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “Jdita,” off Marie Haddad’s recently-released album Stories from Atlantis (9/1/2017 via Hobo Kitty Music, BMI). A pianist singer/songwriter from San Diego, California, Marie Haddad taps into her heritage on the “Jdita” as she honors her father’s Lebanese birthplace. Shot in California’s desert, “Jdita” finds the artist seamlessly marrying Middle Eastern and American cultures in a hauntingly poetic display.

Stories from Atlantis - Marie Haddad

Stories from Atlantis – Marie Haddad

Familiar ribbons pull me close
midnight’s hands through my hair
this place of old and new
a place that you once knew
near Jdita

“Jdita is a small village in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon near where my father grew up,” Haddad explains. “I wanted to honor him and his heritage by writing this song, and to try to express how I felt when I visited there – that somewhere so faraway and mysterious can also resonate as being completely familiar. KIND Films (the husband and wife team Jake Segraves and Gretchen
Bayer) and I drove out to the Anza-Borrego Desert in California to shoot the video. For the video, I created a book containing ancient illuminated manuscripts. Most of the other artifacts that I “find” in the sand are actually from Lebanon – the vase, coffee cup, photos, backgammon board, the finger cymbals… even the sugar packet!”

Haddad, who self-identifies as a pianist, plays the little-known Marxophone to give “Jdita” that background, distinctive jingle-jangle. It’s the perfect accompaniment to help listeners and viewers feel transported to another time and place – one which she herself has heard stories of, and perhaps yearns to live.

Marie Haddad © 2017

Marie Haddad © 2017

From here I see
just like you did
gold on my skin
gold from the mountains
I came to etch your name in stone
to end your journey at your home

We all have our own rich, beautiful histories at our disposal. Where are we from; who were our ancestors? What was their way of life; their music; their world? Haddad embraces her forebears in “Jdita,” painting a colorful landscape through which she can share her understanding and interpretations with the world.

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:: stream Stories from Atlantis here ::

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Stories from Atlantis - Marie Haddad

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photo © KIND Films

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Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com