Full name: Jelena Dobric Khalifa                        

Instrument :  Voice

Birthday:
October 4th 1982, Serbia

Place of residence: Tunisia

Facebook page: Jelena Dobric

Musical bio:
Jelena started singing and playing piano at the age of 4. Her father – professional musician, music teacher and composer – had always encouraged her to explore and develop her musical personality. Until the age of 12 she sang in a children’s choir conducted by her father. Her entire music education has been based on classical music, but she was always curious and open to other music genres. Kamelot, Rhapsody, Dream Theater, Symhony X and Nightwish were the first bands who got her completely hooked to melodic kinds of metal, and during her years in high music school and Music University she started composing her first songs and piano pieces. From 2001 until 2004 she had a progressive metal band Inumbro in Belgrade, Serbia, but they split due to personal reasons before releasing an official EP or an album. During her studies she sang in a professional female choir “Collegium Musicum”. After getting her master degree in piano performance, Jelena got even more inspired to explore other musical possibilities and genres, so she spent some years studying medieval, renaissance and baroque music and taking lessons of harpsichord and early singing. She attended several masterclasses focused on early music with prominent international vocal and harpsichord coaches, and had performed in numerous concerts with various early music ensembles in Serbia. While teaching piano in high music school after her studies, she started PhD studies of chamber music in Music University, but she stopped them after a year and moved to Tunisia in 2011. There she started Persona project with Melik Melek Khelifa.

Favorite bands/musicians: Leprous, Kamelot, Ark, Dream Theater, Queen, Ayreon, Pain of Salvation, Evergrey, Delain, Opeth, Insomnium, Shade Empire, Depeche Mode, Kate Bush, Freddy Mercury, Anneke van Giersbergen, Floor Jansen, Daniel Gildenlow, Dave Gahan, Charlotte Wessels, Jorn Lande, Melody Gardot…

Top 5 albums of all times: Images and Words by Dream Theater, Damnation by Opeth, Be by Pain of Salvation, Coal by Leprous, Burn the Sun by Ark.

Favorite Persona song: Persona

Best books:
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Hyperion and Endymion saga by Dan Simmons, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, Samarcande by Amin Maalouf, The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, Carrie by Stephen King…

Best movies: Cosmos documentaries (1980 and 2014), Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Corpse Bride, Inception, Shutter Island, Se7en, The Silence of the Lambs, Stardust…

Favorite food: Fruits, vegetables, nuts

Favorite drinks: Fresh fruit and vegetable juices, water, cocktails

Place I want to go: New York City, Japan, places with beautiful nature
 
Goals for Persona:
Many new albums and music videos in the future, performing in major music festivals and sharing the stage with some of favorite bands and musicians.

Personal goals: Solo project in the near future, collaboration with favorite musicians.

Life philosophy: The only thing we’re able to experience is the present moment, so don’t dwell on past events and don’t waste time fantasizing about the future. Do your best for yourself and others right here, right now.

Full name: Melik Melek Khelifa                           

Instrument :  Lead guitars

Birthday: January
6th 1984, Tunisia

Place of residence: Tunisia

Facebook page: Melik Melek Khelifa

Musical bio:
Melik started playing the guitar at the age of 12, and throughout highschool played in various Heavy Metal cover bands. He met with Jelena Dobric in 2010 and together they started Persona in 2012.

Favorite bands/musicians: Metallica, Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Type O Negative, Pink Floyd, Alice In Chains, Megadeth, Pearl Jam

Top 5 albums of all times: ...And Justice For All by Metallica, Rust In Peace by Megadeth, Ten by Pearl Jam, Dirt by Alice In Chains, October Rust by Type O Negative.

Favorite Persona song: He Kills Me More

Best books: Hyperion by Dan Simmons, The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, Rendez-vous with Rama by Arthur C.Clarke, The Elegant Universe by Brian Green, Rememberance of Earth's Past trilogy by Liu Cixin, 1984 by George Orwell, Congo by Michael Crichton, Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon, Gateway by Frederik Pohl, The Banned and the Banished series by James Clemens, Forgotten Realms Campaign Settings 3.5

Best movies: Pink Floyd The Wall, Contact, Enemy Mine, Interstellar, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, 2001: A Space Odyssey

Favorite food: Pasta

Favorite drinks: Red wine and Tequila

Place I want to go:
Space
 
Goals for Persona:
To grow as as much as we can as a band

Personal goals: To explore all the opportunities that are offered in this life

Life philosophy: Live and let live

Full name: Walid Bessadok                          

Instrument : Keyboard, Piano

Birthday: February 8th 1995, Tunisia

Place of residence: Tunisia

Facebook page: Walid Bessadok

Musical bio: Interested in classical music, Walid started playing piano at the age of 13. By his late teens he had grown increasingly interested in synthesizers and rock/metal music. At the age of 18, he joined Persona for the first time in 2014. Late that year he joined Garage band for some projects and then left the next year. At the age of 21 he was one of the founding members of a band What the Funk and left it to focus on his project with Persona.


Favorite bands/musicians: Porcupine Tree, Tool, A Perfect Circle, Puscifer, Rammstein, System Of a Down, God is an astronaut, Massive Attack, Portishead, Explosion in the sky, Ics Vortex, Steven Wilson, Maynard James Keenan, Mustis.

Top 5 albums of all times: Mezzanine by Massive Attack, No Need to Argue by The Cranberries, Mer de Noms by a Perfect Circle, The Sham Mirrors by Arcturus, Blizzard by Fauve.

Favorite Persona song: Forgotten

Best books:
New introductory lectures on psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud, Et Après by Guillaume Musso, Onze Minutes by Paulo Coelho, La cinquième montagne by Paulo Coelho.

Best movies: Interstellar, Constantine, I Saw the Devil, American History X, The devil's Advocate, Heat, A Bronx Tale, Goodfellas, Sleven, Ordinary Decent Criminal, The Usual Suspects, Snatch, Natural Born Killers, Donnie Brasco, The Matrix, Rock N Rolla, Revolver, The Godfather, fight Club, Mr Nobody...

Favorite food: Lasagne

Favorite drinks:
Coca-Cola, Mojito

Place I want to go: Dublin & Canada.
 
Goals for Persona:
Looking forward for more projects

Personal goals: Studies.

Life philosophy: Live a life you'll remember.

Full name: Nesrine Mahbouli

Instrument : Bass

Date and place of birth: May 11th 1994, Tunisia

Place of residence: Tunisia

Facebook page: Nesrine Mahbouli

Musical bio:
Nesrine started playing the bass guitar at the age of 16 when she joined a Metalcore band called “This Dead Hour”. In 2012, she joined the Death Metal band “Chased”. She also played a few gigs with the Black Metal band “Groteskry”. She was the last member who joined Persona, which was in 2014. In addition to being a self-taught bass player, Nesrine is also a self-taught singer who started singing in 2013 at the age of 19.

Favorite bands/musicians: Nightwish, Tarja, Xandria, Mike LePond, Laureena Mckennit, Trobar De Morte, Dead Can Dance, Diana Damrau, Jerry Goldsmith, Hans Zimmer, Luca Turilli, Anna Netrebko, Ronnie James Dio, Megadeth, Annihilator, Accept, Floor Jansen, Adrian Von Ziegler, Heather Dale, Gabriele Denaro…

Top 5 albums of all times: Wishmaster by Nightwish, King Of The Nordic Twilight by Luca Turilli, Colours In The Dark by Tarja, Reverie by Trobar De Morte, Anastasis by Dead Can Dance.

Favorite Persona song: Persona

Best books:
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by J.K.Rowling, Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton, Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley, La Nuit Des Barbares by Orlando De Rudder…

Best movies: Harry Potter Saga, DeathNote (the anime adaptaion of the Japanese manga series), The Mummy (1999), Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Pan’s Labyrinth, Dexter (TV show), Misfits (TV show)…

Favorite food: Pizza, Lasagna, Meat, Fish, Strawberries, Apricot...

Favorite drinks: Beer, orange juice

Place I want to go: 
Would love to visit all the beautiful places around Mother Earth.
 
Goals for Persona:
Playing concerts outside our hometown, participating in important Metal events, releasing many albums, sharing the stage with our favorite bands…

Personal goals: Travelling to all my favorite places around the world, having a successful musical solo project, working in collaboration with a few of my favorite artists, becoming a vocal coach, having a professional opera singing career, composing music for a fantasy/horror themed video game/movie, performing a musical theatre…

Life philosophy: Practice and passion are the keys to unlimited success.

Full name: Yosri Ouada

Instrument : Guitars

Date and place of birth: October 9th 1990, Tunisia

Place of residence: Tunisia

Facebook page: Yosri Ouada

Musical bio: Yosri started playing the guitar at the age of 15. At the age of 17 was one of the founding members of Tunisian melodic death metal band Apostol, in which he played from 2007 until 2011. He joined Persona in 2012.

Favorite bands/musicians: Opeth, Lacuna Coil, Arch Enemy, Korn


Top 5 albums of all times: Blackwater by Opeth, Heritage by Opeth, Paradise Lost by Symphony X, Sanctus Ignis by Adagio, Once by Nightwish.

Favorite Persona song: Torn

Best books: Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline


Best movies:  The Fast and the Furious (whole series)

Favorite food: Rice with minced meat and vegetables

Favorite drinks: Beer

Place I want to go: USA
 
Goals for Persona: To play in major metal festivals

Personal goals: To have a successful career in both architecture and music

Life philosophy: Everything will come in due time


Full name: Youssef Aouadi

Instrument : Drums

Birthday: July 30th 1994, Tunisia

Place of residence: Tunisia

Facebook page: Youssef Aouadi

Musical bio: Youssef started playing the drums at the age of 12. He joined Persona in 2012.

Favorite bands/musicians:
Opeth, Dream Theater, Pearl Jam, Lamb of God, Dire Straits

Top 5 albums of all times: Awake by Dream Theater, Ghost Reveries by Opeth, Ten by Pearl Jam, Sacrament by Lamb of God, Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits

Favorite Persona song: Forgotten

Best books: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Best movies: P
ulp fiction, 300, American beauty

Favorite food: Paella

Favorite drinks: Beer

Place I want to go: Iceland
 
Goals for Persona: Playing in major festivals abroad.

Personal goals: Successful music career.

Life philosophy: Life is really simple, but we insist in making it complicated.

Alt

PERSONA is an independent female-fronted metal band from Tunisia. Their style fuses modern metal sound with progressive and sometimes extreme metal elements, with thrash and heavy riffs, but also synth effects and classical orchestration, creating the perfect foundation for intense and captivating vocal lines.
Being considered one of the most accomplished and influential bands on the Tunisian metal scene, PERSONA have already started moving forward to the international level. Their next album titled “Metamorphosis” will be released on September 15th 2017. More adventurous than their debut, this album is spiced up with some fresh and diverse elements, both instrumentally and vocally. Lyrics are entirely personal and inspired by real life situations, each song being a fragment of the album concept.
They independently released a debut album “Elusive Reflections” in February 2016, and got outstanding reviews from webzines all over the world: “…Rare is the band that can come out of the gate so confidently displaying such diversity in the genre... With such a strong debut, it’s hard not to think about the potential of the band moving forward” (Dead Rhetoric, USA); “A stunning debut from this North African band and certainly an album worth checking out” (Ravenheart Music, UK); “Catchy, listenable and very melodious album” (Metal Revolution, Denmark).
Formed in 2012 by lead guitarist Melik Melek Khelifa and singer/pianist Jelena Dobric, the band went through many different phases and musical genres, exploring and looking for a distinctive way of expression. After several changes, Yosri Ouada became their permanent rhythm guitarist, Youssef Aouadi took place on drums, Walid Bessadok joined on keyboard and Nesrine Mahbouli on bass. Each member brought an individual musical personality into the band, making its style unique and appealing to the broadest audience.
Very soon after getting together, the band started being active on stage and regularly participating in local metal concerts and events. Among many others, some of their concerts include opening for Xandria (February 2017) and Myrath (April 2017) when they played in Tunisia. They won the local Hard Rock Rising competition two years in a row (2016 and 2017), and also the “Metal Asylum Battle” contest held in Tunis in august 2013, when they performed live on stage with the guest star Ron Bumblefoot Thal (BUMBLEFOOT, Art of Anarchy, Guns’N’Roses).
The music video for their song “Blinded” now has more than 1 million views and was voted Best Metal Video for 2015 in African Rock Music Awards contest on AudioInferno.com.