Virtual Nelsonville Music Festival Interviews: Bedouine

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Azniv Korkejian says she’s “on desert time” when we connect for our interview. The Syrian born singer-songwriter who performs as Bedouine purchased a house a few hours outside of Los Angeles a while ago, and it wasn’t until the COVID-19 crisis made touring impossible that the rising folk star had time to settle into her new home, finding domestic joy in house painting and weeding.

In 2018, Korkejian performed at the Nelsonville Music Festival about a year after the release of her critically lauded self titled debut. She has supplied the Virtual Nelsonville Music Festival with a pre-recorded performance of three songs off her sophomore LP, Birdsongs of a Killjoy, which she released in June.

When asked what a “killjoy” is in reference to the new album’s title, Korkejian explained her use of it is a sort of allusion to the concept of “the difficult woman.”

“It was kind of overcompensating for an insecurity about how you might be perceived by someone,” she said. “I think it’s something that women or people in general can relate to, especially in settings like studios and things that seem to be a boy’s club. Even more general than that, I think it is about being hyper conscious about how you might be perceived.”

Listen to my conversation with Azniv about Birdsongs of a Killjoy, her recently release cover of Margo Guryan’s “The Hum,” and the importance of supporting the arts in times of crisis, embedded above.

Azniv Korkejian
Azniv Korkejian (aka Bedouine). (

Early on in the COVID-19 crisis, the 2020 Nelsonville Music Festival announced its cancellation due to the infectious disease outbreak. In its place, Ohio University School of Media Arts & Studies Director Josh Antonuccio and Nelsonville Music Festival Executive Director Tim Peacock created the Virtual Nelsonville Music Festival, an online presentation of the popular festival, which is being produced by Stuart’s Opera House, WOUB Public Media, the Scripps College of Communication and the Ohio University School of Media Arts and Studies, in partnership with OU Performing Arts, the Ohio University Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Haden DeRoberts Foundation. Under the direction of Antonuccio, Ohio University students and recent graduates are on location around the region with school faculty Andie Walla and Brian Plow filming performances for the virtual fundraiser supporting Stuart’s Opera House. WOUB producers Adam Rich and Evan Shaw are providing post-production on the project, which will go live on Stuart’s official YouTube page August 21-22.