Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ramy Fares Break Out With God and Prayer

Ramy Fares wants to pray and ask for peace from the heavens, but when someone like Ramy wants to pray, it has to be recorded, his voice is a treat and a lesson at the same time.

He might never maker another song--after all this is a really crowded time for singers, but he can boast about this track of 3 minutes of solid prayer. Ramadan is the best time to hear new comers from Egypt, thy have little competition and most stations find god during this season.

And with that most songs do not make money, people gladly do them for free in the hopes they would get their name out there. So Khaleny Fakrak is Ramy Fares' calling card..a fancy one indeed

Ramy Fares - Khaleny Fakrak / رامى فارس - خلينى فاكرك

Palestinian Rapper Puts The Spotlight Back On Gaza

Mc Gaza is a gifted young rapper from Gaza with fans all across the Palestinian land and Egypt. The young rapper fills in the void for local rappers who are also well versed in politics and most importantly, the various rapping styles.

I like the way he flies from one note to another, and how he spits one line after another with a speed worthy of the great boxer Mohammad Ali himself. I know there have been a number of attempts at making rap a cool thing in Palestine, but I believe Mc Gaza might mange to do just that at home. He will do this, but not overdressing in those rapper like outfits, and making funny shapes....he has gone for the normal all Palestinian look and chose to rap about things at home and not some controversial topic.

And for his music video he turns himself into an activist and brings rare images for Gaza showing that no matter what life always goes on. His energy and the energy of young talents communicate that so well.

Mc Gaza - Heek Bnshofha | هيك بنشوفها

Mc Gaza - The Story Isn't Worthless - القصة مش خاوية (Music Video)

Hamza Namira Song For Mostafa Hosny Ramadan Show

Hamza Namira, is a singer activist and commentator from Egypt. The super talented singer composer whose songs offer plenty of excitement and positive messages about social change. He has also worked to put songs and music for other shows.

Hamza remains one of the smartest and most gifted entertainers in Egypt. His latest song is about having faith, and placing that faith where it counts the most. It's a very catch tone that plays in the popular show with TV preacher Mostafa Hosny. A show translates religion relevant in every day and in common language.

I am a fan of this charming singer whose music videos are about making the world a better place and not just mere entertainment with models and fancy cars. For that Hamza has found global fan base, he is now with the London based Awakening Records. The beautiful lyrics and music are courtesy of wonder boy of Egyptian music Aziz El Shafie

حمزة نمرة بتحب حاجة من برنامج سحر الدنيا

Is It Me Or Does M Kamal Sounds Just Like M Fouad?

Egypt is a land full of singer with the first name Mohammed, I can name 20 and I know you can do the same. Mohammed is a popular name (and beautiful)

I know I reviewed the Mohammed Kamal album more than a month ago, but I really cannot help and notice that he does sound exactly like the sound of Egyptian singer Mohammed Fouad. They might be friends for all I know, but if you listen to this promo for Kamal's album, you might agree with me.

It might be be that they chose similar lyrics, or that music sounds all the same now. They both excel in the romantic songs, but Fouad is the elder in this business.

محمد كمال وحشت قلبي - حاليا ً| Mohamed Kamal Wahasht Albi - now

Monday, July 30, 2012

اوبريت - جيش لبنان / WATCH: Operetta - Lebanon Army 2012

The music video that kept the Lebanese army for weeks is finally out and it seems all the actors and singers involved in the project feel strongly about it and about its production. This is not the first music video made for/by the army, but it might be the biggest project to memory as it comes at a critical moment when Lebanese troops are being shot in the streets of Beirut by thugs.

I think this is a good PR job needed by the army now. I salut to the biggest names who have joined the lineup for this song, Nawal Zoghby, Wael Kfoury, Assi Hallani, Nancy Ajram and Sameer Sfier--composing and singing. This is an all Lebanese song--with the mawal and everything. Not sure wha the reviews are, but a good song is a good song.

There are half dozen well known actors also appear in the project. This is a clip that well make the army once again buy few patriots who wanted to make this project out of good faith. I know most armies accomplish things before they can enter the PR game, I am not aware of any major accomplishment for this particular army.

For the record, it's not the army that made Lebanon a great nation, the people have with their can do attitude and top notch customer service skills--culinary skills and fashion are a bonus

P.S. By the way, why is Nishan is part of this music video? Nawal and Assi need to dial it down with all the botox.

 اوبريت - جيش لبنان / Operetta - Lebanon Army 2012
Operate Jaysh Lebnan Original Copy - أوبريت جيش لبنان النسخة الأصلية

Naughty Or Nice? Palestinian President Attends Wedding

President Mahmoud Abbas took the time to attend a local wedding, he brought his band, and his groupies with him for this big bash. I like the idea of politicians pandering to local people and I think that people of Silwad wanted to be there, he seems likes a nice guy.

But I would do away with the guy brown nosing the president. I do not like the tradition of sucking up to the politicians, if I like a guy then he earns my silence and occasional cheers. I like the old ladies bit when the are doing old school Palestinian Zaghal or Hahe.

 I do not know if I live in this world or not, but I think I mixed on this, I think it's good and I also can see how it can be also used for something bad. I love the fact that his wife was there with the ladies--she is no politician.

 مشاركة السيد الرئيس ابو مازن اهالي سلواد العرس الجماعي

Khaled Agag And Those Lovely Ramadan Dramas

Every Ramadan we get to watch dozens of TV shows, some of them are amazing, others are just a waste of time. But the ones that want to get the name out tend to hire the big names in just about anything. It's important to have a good theme songs for the show, the song plays as the credits are showing. Sometimes one singer does both songs (opening and closing), other times they hire two for the job.

Khalid Agag just released the song he recorded for a TV shows about brothers who are enemies. I love how this songs bring back Khaled Agag and the way we loved him. He hit all the right notes as he sounds so wise and telling about life and all other things. This is a good song, it reminds me of another good one form two years ago (by Adam for Al3'ar)

This TV drama might be adapted from a 80s movie with the same titled with the same name, the show an the song are about family feuds when the brother wishes death for his own father.
اغنيه حسبي الله من مسلسل الاخوه الاعداء

The Great Ahmed Sa'ad Finds God This Ramadan

Ahmed is one of those really and truly unique voices in Egypt, he has becomes one of the busiest singers. His voice is all over the place. you find his voice in politics, TV, movies and now in religion. He has even did a song for a rap album where he might have been the best things about the project.

He has appeared on more TV shows than I can count and he has always seems to be a treat, a guy who does not take himself seriously, he likes a good joke, but also serious about his work. Here's his latest track, it's a prayer/supplication where Ahmed hits all the right notes and leaves nothing behind....you cannot make this track better than he has already done.

A music video for this has also been released it combines an image of the artist and the lyrcis of the song along with some cool graphics....I just found out this is new business adventure where two companies collabotrate one produced the album--Tarek Al Arian's Star Gate and the other distributes--Richard El Haj Pyramedia.

Ahmed Sa'ad - Al Azim "Allah the Great" / أحمد سعد - العَظيم

Ahmed Sa'ad - Allah / أحمد سعد - الله

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Does Maher Zain Really Believe In This Stuff?

Maher Zain makes good soulful Muslim rock music, he is a true global star with fans that goes places where even Islam might not be the official religion. He packs stadiums and concert halls where his tickets are sold ahead of time. At the end of the day, it's a job that pays well that has made him into a public figure.

But he strikes me as a guy who cares enough about his music, I cannot speak about his faith. I am sure he is a fine family guy. But faith is between him and God. So his fans are right to point out, how awesome this guy really is. But at least I know there has to be a separation between the message and the messenger.

The message is clearly good and universal--even not Muslims can find Maher's lyrics meaningful, but he should not expected to lead a saint like life. I know he has a good name around the world and that's great, BUT, if Maher does not listener to his fans and mind the business side, we would not know about him and by the same token, he would not be around for long. That's why he pushes his social media bookmarking. It helps spread the message and also help bring in the cash.

In sum, balance is the key....Maher has it right, good music and good personality. While we wait, enjoy the track below where Maher seeks guidance.

Maher Zain - Guide Me All The Way | Official Lyrics Video

Morocco's Very Own Tahra Hmamich Releases Two Ramadan Supplications

Tahra Hmimich worked very hard to reboot her music career and she is making a good run for religions songs/supplications. The young Moroccan songstress with a very fine set of vocal chords and a warm personality released two different tracks. Pause, the music label she is working with released them to the masses and they seem to have attracted thousands of viewers online.

The tracks are about having all the right intentions and making sins, asking for forgiveness and a chance for redemption. The second offers optimism and a bright light. I do appreciate the art work accommodating both tracks. You can also detect a Moroccan flavor on at least one of the prayers.

A for effort and A for being young non Egyptian and thinking of making such work

Tahra Hmimich - Allah Ya 3alem / طاهرة حماميش - الله يا عالم

Tahra Hmimich - Sho3a3 Men Nour / طاهرة حماميش - شعاع من نور

Baloona, Yet Another Lebanese Summer Music Festival

Why not? Nothing beats the heat like the outdoors can, so why not bring the party together and hire local talents to bring it all together and excite the crowd about your town or about your event.

In Baloona, a village in Lebanon, brought together two different singers. Michaella, one female that will attract the young an dthe energized, and  Melhim Barakat, the guy who speaks his mind, but also makes very fine music. She partied with people as she sang. She even gave interviews and spoke about her latest work and events where she will appear.

The moody Melhim Barakat asked people to turn off their cameras and he has banned the singers form filming his performance. And yes, no one has footage of Melhim Barakat.

في بلونة... ميكاييلا تتألَّق وملحم بركات يمنع التصوير

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ayman Zabib Sings For The Lonely And Broke

The sings of a singer who sings unrealistic love songs are many. Had he, or the one who wrote the song even been in a relationship, they would know better. This is why many of the best songwriters tend to be single, it's like any other job. 

Ayman Zabib was the Lebanese man of the year last year, he was on fire and his concerts were all over the Arab world. He has this nice boy looks who has passion and charisma on stage. He also does not seem to have a huge ego either. Thus he tends to open for other singers  or appear next to them--if you prefer.

Here's a song of his where he does a love song, he got nothing but love to give and he cares about little in the world other than his gal. Ayman can now brag about his many fans, he really worked hard on getting them and keeping them happy--no one gave him extra help.

I do like his second song, where is has a realist tone about a guy who cannot afford to get married and have a family and he tells it the way it is. This is our homeland and this is how things work out here. He sounds sweet and seems to take in the song in before he lets it out.

أيمن زبيب - بحبك والله

ايمن زبيب - شو بعملك النسخة الاصلية بدون حقوق

Can "Arab Booking" Revitalize Entertainment Business in Lebanon?

Booking agencies are all over the states, they maintain a large database of talented entertainers, speakers and such who can be hired for a fee. So a Lebanese guy wanted to bring all these stars under one roof....it's not a new idea. But it seems that the guy behind the company means business. He invited a number of A list Lebanese entertainers for a dinner.

For the look of it, it seems they event was very exclusive. It's no secret that entertainers are unable to get gigs in those conditions. So they want all the help they can get...this is why Arab Booking--the name of the company will be a tool for them. Lebanese singers young, old hip and not so all accepted the invitation and joined the ranks.

Weddings, companies and private parties can all hire one of the entertainers to appear at their concert. Let's get real, I think you can get 90 percent of the /Arab stars for under 10 thousand dollars. You just need to be serious and pay up. It seems at this event stars turned out and enjoyed the dinner. Elaph caught up with them and spoke about their plans and their upcoming projects.

I wish Arab Booking the best of luck, if they can make it a success, why not? I do want to applaud the founder of the company for speaking about the high fees stars ask in exchange for their participation in an event. He said, most of the time, such stars give high fees because they really do not want to take part of an event.

Here's what I would do.....

a short video by each of the company's entertainers trying to sell his act. This video would not be public, but rather a promotional material sent to entities considering booking an entertainer. This has to be a business model, not a game. The company needs to make its mark on the business by not getting in the production business but rather the marketing business. Not o be tempted to sing any talent, but also not to let A list celebrities poison the company by claiming some privileged status. This is important in a world with a lot fo egos, each one has to know they are valuable asset.

 نجوم لبنان و العالم العربي في قبضة Arab Booking ElaphVideo

Ramy Sabry Ramadan Track - Yarab / رامي صبري - يارب

Ramy Sabry strikes me as someone who is not a big fan of the Egyptian revolution, he has criticized it and spoke well of some of its opponents. But this Ramadan--like every one he released a Ramadan track, a supplication for sure.

About fasting the month with good intentions and doing all the rituals. I am a fan of Ramy's music not his politics. He is smart composer and a gifted singer who knows how to make a good song and he carried himself well.

I am going to say when it comes to heartfelt pop songs, Ramy comes really close to the Amr Diab school. I am glad he continues to make music  and happy that he has gotten married now to focus on good music gone better.
Ramy Sabry - Yarab / رامي صبري - يارب 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Basic "T'abla" Or Arabic Drum With Josef Attieh

It's a 6000 years old musical instrument, and it happens to be very popular around the globe, we know it as the drum in Arabic, it's T'abla "الطبلة" It's the one instruments that most Arab know how to play, even older ladies. It's all about having a beat and knowing how to count.

I know at my older brother's wedding, some old lady did a fine jump making this T'abla dance. The one she used was made out of clay and a fine piece of leather. Now, you can but them made out of metal. Most religious folks are OK with this instruments and fine with using it.

One fresh dude of Lebanese pop and romance just found himself in the zone and instead of singing like he has always done, he played the drum where did a very fine job. Darbuka is the most popular melody made out on T'abla. Josef Attieh got into it and give us a very fine Darbuka.

Good many more kids now will be inspired to pick this very basic instrument to make music, I know the drum circle that meats every Sunday on the 16th St park in DC will be jealous.

 جوزيف عطية يعزف على الطبلة - حصرياً

LISTEN: Black Theama - Dakhalna Hemak | بلاك تيما - دخلنا حماك

The colorful folksy Egyptian band Black Theama wants to share the Ramadan celebration with the rest of the  Muslim world, by releasing a track exclusive for this month. They are even asking you to download it free of charge--find the link in the video description box (and always do not do anything illegal)

This is a sweet track from the guys who know how to pour their emotions and keep it in check when needed. This is simple song that celebrates the month and the creator. They also take a tour to those famous Islamic sites this month. They plea with the man upstairs to accept their worship.

I like the beat, it sounds very Black Theama, a watered down musical version of course. This is the standard of those religious songs, that cannot be loud. This track is inspired by the Sufi folklore. Thus the songs comes froma long standing tradition of using sober music as an instrument of worship. 

Black Theama - Dakhalna Hemak | بلاك تيما - دخلنا حماك

Kaoutar Nihad "Nta Li Bghit" Arabs In New York


Morocco is the country of a million singer and dancer, if you have been watching the entertainment channel of course. In fairness, most of the entertainers who come form Morocco are extremely talented. There's a certain energy singers from Morocco bring, they seem to be very educated and have hail from a great tradition.

A singer who I have yet to decide on is called Kaouthar Nihad, she is out with a new album she was singing in Rotana cafe in Morocco. The music video for her song was filmed mostly in New York in Central Park and Time Square. The two places I know like the back of my hand. The singer is boasting about an American director who shot the music video, I think my college roommate Carlos would have done a better job filming and editing this video.

The outdoors portion is pretty cool, when they crew films indoors, the quality sucks. As for the song, I like the beat I detect a Latin/Hispanic flavor. The lyrics are very Moroccan which in the past has been an upside. The singer might have a lot more to give than she is showing.

On the plus side, this is a complete artist in the sense she knows the song through and through, music lyrics and singing. This sheer fact makes Nihad unique and light years ahead of her peers. To her credit, the song below gets better once you play it few times.

Kaoutar NIHAD Nta Li Bghit Clip Official HD 2012 كوثر نهاد انت لي بغيت

Ahmed Sa'ad Outdoes Himself This Ramadan In "Ar-Rahman"

Egyptian man of the blues Ahmed Sa'ad is releasing a number of religious themed songs for this Ramadan, and I am impressed by how well those songs are done. For starter, you cannot get a more perfect voice for such songs than that on Ahmed Sa'ad.

He gets in the zone and brings you along with him as he voices some of those 99 names for Allah. His supplication heads straight to the heart, I know, it;s true in my case. I do not know where Ahmed has been hiding his talent, he should more of those songs as his flow and his pronunciation is ideal.

Ahmed Sa'ad - Ar-Rahman/ أحمد سعد - الرحمن

Thursday, July 26, 2012

This Ramadan Meets Rock Music By 050 Band

Rock music has not ever be used to make a song about the Muslim month of Ramadan. Not until Egyptian band 050 had their new song. Just like most Ramadan songs, the spiritual message is there about faith and find the inner peace

It's certainly a fresh take on this genera, the vocals have a hard time matching the strong beat, but the overall the song by the band has its moment in the sun. Fans of this kind of music would most likely welcome the song, and those who like Ramadan might find something new about this single.

I know I think the vocals could have been sweeter a bit, yelling does not really scream faith to me.

050 Band - Ra7tak fe Emanak || زيروخمسين - راحتك فى إيمانك

Ramy Nawar Sings For Ramadan While Modling Too / رامى نوار - متقسمة الأرزاق

Ramy Nawar is one of the new voices trying to breakout in Egypt. Among his monitors and biggest fans is Libyan Egyptian iconic music personality Hamid El Shari who has featured Ramy on one oh his produced CD's for the up and coming voices

The song is about believing that the Lord will provide, he has determined who makes what amount of money, but we all have to work for it. Some call is luck, but as Ramy highlights, it's fate. What I do not like is his outfit, it really kills the song.

Ramy should have dressed down for this song, the song is not about him his jeans and his open shirt. He sounds really good, but I do not think he was lucky in his wardrobe choice. Again, this son might not sit well with most people. If there is anything religious people hate--all of them--hate pride and making the message about self.

Ramy Nawar - Met'asema El Arzaa / رامى نوار - متقسمة الأرزاق

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Poor Man's Sha'abi Music Gets A Girl Star!

Whoever said that females cannot compete with almost excessively all male Sh'abi music? Well, these guys are in for a treat, because Heidi Al Baroudy is about to give them a good for their money. With her all girl music video where there's dance, a balady beat and rough around the edges lyrics.

I have one bone to pick, the outfits are not at all stylish, but this might be fitting for those who listen to this kind of music as they are almost never accused of being stylish. None of the dance moves are award winning of course. So if you do not like Egyptian pop, you will not start now with this song.

I think Heidi knows her market very well, and realizes that she is one of girl in an almost all dudes business, so she has to thread carefully. I like the fact that she exists and stands in tall and proud. I may not like this style, but it's not her fault--it's the game.

كليب هايدي البارودي - وبعدين وياك

What Do Arab Celebrities Do During Ramadan?

Most entertainers go into hiding in Ramadan, they focus on family, prayer and spiritual stuff. Some actors do work to finish up their work during the month of Ramadan. But most do not work in Ramadan and take a sabbatical. Elaph, interviewed some ladies of Arabic entertainment to ask them the following question, What do you do during the month of Ramadan? And how does your clothes style change during the month?

  1. Shatha Hassoun spends the month in Beirut where she received her family, she wears a conservative traditional 'Abayya--long sleeve garb with conservative colors all over the Arab world.
  2. Mai Hariri, she stays away from the beach, dresses modestly and does not do any concerts or parties. No 'Abaya for Mai who spend the month doing spiritual stuff and visiting with friends and family. 
  3. Amani Sueysi ownes a local Tunisian conservative dress called Qaftthan, she does not ware often, but as always she stays modest. Amani used to sing in some private parties celebrating the month, but she is not doing that this year, so she is in Tunisia with her family. 
  4. Ammar or Qamar, changed all her revealing outfits and she mostly wear jeans and T-shirts--her preferred style. Ammar has no projects in this month, but she is not opposed to singing in respectable Ramadan get together and functions. She does visit with a lot of friends and stays up at night chatting the night away.
  5. Waad, goes home to the Saudi city of Riyadh and spend the month with her family. Waad does not do concerts or any art related media appearances--only talk show format with no singing. Waad wears the 'Abaya during the month--she is very proud of her ability to look natural.  

WATCH: The Lebanese Army Song By Lebanon's Finest أغنية الجيش - نوال الزغبي - نانسي - وائل كفوري - عاصي

The army is supposed to be made out of the country's finest people, but in the case of Lebanon the jury is still out on this matter. In the meantime, Lebanon's finest pop singers have joined forces to do a song for this army that has not seen a good day in a really long time. The army is proud yet they seem to get no respect around the country--singers and writers would like to think people should respect the army, but most think of them as a farce.

So the army did the next best thing to try to get its name out there, hiring a volunteer singer squad to d a song for them while dressed in army gear. Nancy Ajram singed up, so has Nawal El Zoghby, Wael Kfoury, Assi Hallani, composer Samir Sfir's name is also attached to the project. Nizar Francis wrote the lyrics

The official clip is yet to be released, but we have the audio track and some of the behind the scenes images with the artists who have taken part of this grand project. The song will be released int he Lebanese army day of celebration.

In fairness, even the American army does these kind of songs and material to promote their work, so there's no shame in doing that that. What I do not like, is how people who have never served in the army--maybe Wael did are pretending to be all tough by wearing the army gear. Najwa Karam has done a song three years a go with the help of the army where she featured some of their officers.

نانسي ونوال، عاصي ووائل: معاً لجيش لبنان

أغنية الجيش - نوال الزغبي - نانسي - وائل كفوري - عاصي NEW 2012

نجوم لبنانيون يؤكِّدون: الجيش خط أحمر وضمانة للشعب

"بالشرق كان الليل عمرو سنين
ولبنان كان بعتمتو غرقان
إلاّ ولمع سيفك يا فخرالدين
وبديت حكاية اسمها لبنان
كان صعب العيش والناس خيفانة
صار عنا جيش والجيش لبناني
وصاروا رجال الدار جيش الحما وأهلا
وصرنا كبار صغار نهتفلن أهلاً

Najwa Karam Rocks Al Ashrafiya Festival!

So what Najwa Karam did not want to talk to annoying street journalists, so what the audio system could not handle the might voice Najwa Karam is well know for. It was still good concert that shows Najwa as a home girl proud of all things Lebanon

Najwa was the star of a local concert part of Al Ashrafiya area, a pocket of Beirut. She sang for an hour and shared the joy with her fellow Lebanese people, it was not a big deal what went wrong and those who talk about it, got nothing else to talk about.

She rocked the purples dress and did what the singer wanted to do, remind people that Lebanon is a safe place to come party at.
هل كان حفل الأشرفيَّة زلَّة قدم لنجوى كرم؟

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Just Like Assad, Ali El Deek Won't Just Go Away

Ali El Deek made something rally cool he made folksy Syrian songs a mainstream thing throughout Arabia. There was relatively, nothing called the hip Syrian song, until Ali released his hit singles. But that was almost 8 years ago. But things have changed since then and Ali kept doing the same old beat with new lyrics.

Ali did not invent the folksy Syrian song, he only made it accessible, but as more people tuned in, less and less songs came out from this style. And soon enough most people have lost interest in this song as it started to feel tired.

And here we go again, we are in 2012 Syria is changing, but Ali has not. He has locked himself in this style and he can still do well in Syria at wedding and other local functions, but I do not see him do not a music festival. I do think his title is creative the youth will appreciate it.
Ali El Deek - Say3in w Day3in

The Hit Show "The Voice" Gets The Arab Version

or maybe it's the Lebanese version. What has been done right so far, is the judges, the management has picked 4 awesome names in Arabic music who truly can sing and have a reputation for their strong voices and their musical knowledge.  AS far as the business is concerned, the intellectual property rights of the show belong to Talpa Holding, while Sony Pictures Television (STP) Arabia- representing Talpa formats in the region - is the co-production company.

This American show is now landing in Arabia and the masses are unsure what to make of another show that will waste more of people's time to pick talents who might never make it in this world again. MBC is hosting the show in the same format, 4 judges, they hear the voice, not see the person singing and then make their call. The person who likes the voice will be a mentor for the guest.

They already had a press conference about it and people are starting to talk about this high caliber show with big names like of Assi Hallani (Lebanon), Kathem Al Saher (Iraq), Sherine (Egypt) and Saber El Robaei (Tunisia). I would not watch the show, but I will follow its news.

Following the exclusive rights to broadcast the international TV show 'The Voice' in the MENA region on MBC1, MBC Group revealed the four star “coaches” of the show:

Kadim Al Sahir, Sherine Abdel Wahab, Saber Al Roba’ei and Assi El Hellani. The program will be hosted by Egyptian actor Mohamed Karim. This is a sing of the great recession that Arabic music have been seeing since the Arab Spring started.

  #MBC1- The Voice

3 Minutes With Karim Saleh This Ramadan

Mr. Arab Idols Kareem Saleh is back this Ramadan with what seems very personal sound tracks of his supplications which he dedicated to his father's soul. Three supplication videos in under 4 minutes. He had a believer of me with his warm voice and heart-filled prayer.

I have also came to enjoy the nature scenes that tend to come with such prayer sound tracks. Kareem is the vocals behind this track and he has also composed the minimalist music we hear. I must say good job Kimo.

كريم صالح - ازاي انا

كريم صالح - ضعيف

كريم صالح - يارب

Abdel Halim Hafez, the Boy Who Made Arabic Music Accessible

At his time, he was a lightweight, but now we come to see him as a legend. Singer and actor Abdel Halim Hafez came in a time when the stage with loaded with people who make beautiful Arabic music accompanied by live orchestras and musicians who make true Arabic music unadulterated. There were also popular folksy artists who have made it big with the common man in the street and in small towns around the Arab world.

Yes, the young people were left un-catered to, they were many of them around who liked Arabic music, the music of Farid Al Atrach, Oum Kalthoum, and Abdelwahab, but none of those singers expressed the feelings the young had. The stores were not right, so to fill in that voice came a skinny guy Abdel Halim Hafez and gave the boys and girls of Arabia the songs they needed. That was his niche and his market, he was their break and butter and brought millions in revenue for everyone in in his business. 

Abdel Halim Hafez was a big hit, even the big household names watched him with amazement. He made cute movies and sang the most romantic songs riddled with passion. He has all the rights told, the charming personality, the warmth voice and the untamed emotions that wanted to get out. Or maybe he was really good at getting in character and performing for hours in stage.

Abdel Halim Hafez packed full concert halls with young and energized people who had little, but a truck load of untapped emotions. He toured all over the Arab world and collaborated with all the big names of his time--he opened to Oum Kalthoum and worked with Farid Al Attrach too. He sang for Nizar Qabbani and had Baligh Hamdi write him music. The list goes on. His movies made so many lead female stars who at their prime were the it girl.

Then all of a sudden he died...just like that. Keep on mind, songs of Abdel Halim Hafez are not your average songs, they are tales fashioned like a song. 

Here's one of his little know songs that offered a world class music that tells a story even when the singer is standing in amusement waiting for his cue.

عبد الحليم حافظ نبتدي منين الحكاية كاملة

Monday, July 23, 2012

Humam Iraqi Young Gun Of Pop - "Shawkt Alagek"

Humam first studied music in Iraq music institute. Then he joined a folklore group there too, then joined another one and toured representing Iraqi folklore all over the map. And when he wanted to be himself, he took part of a talent content show in Lebanon "Star Club", he one the first spot.

Then Rotana picked up him for a contract and he has been recording under their label. He filmed one music video, then another all in Lebanese which brought him more name recognition, then he did a song for Iraq. He released two albums so far and works on his music by releasing singles. His composer of choice is another young Iraqi Walid Al Chami who is considered one of the top Iraqi composers and music producers.

I like Iraqi music, the passion is done right, and their lyrics have the beauty and poetry of the Gulf and the accessibility of Lebanese and Egyptian songs. Humam walks a fine line and do a great job.

Humam - Shawkt Alagek | همام - شوكت الاقيك

Talal Kontar - Doubles Down In "Yally Ma'y Sayer"

Talal Kontar is lyrical poet, music composer who is kind of a big deal in Lebanese pop. Dozens of A list singers (Fadel Shaker, Fares Karam, Raghib Alamah, UTN1,) take songs from him and he is happy to work with the best of them. But Talal is now doing a lot more singing and as we can see, we have yet another music video of his and he looks and sounds very fine.

Talal mixes really good music, and he seems to have a great influence form many Western school of music where he draws inspiration. So when he sings, you are not sure if he is being serious or if he is joking. The music video is in a bar/lounge.

I like the song story line, where a gorgeous girl approaches him and asks him about a girl--his sister and then he asks his sister for help. I like the ending where is feels European to me.

Talal Kontar - Yally Ma'y Sayer / طلال قنطار - ياللي معي صاير

With Reham Helmy, Egyptian Pop Keeps Trying

Good pop songs are not easy to make, a decent pop song has to be happy with upbeat music and clever and catchy lyrics. Throwaway pop ain't hard to make, just ask Egyptian pop star Reham Helmy, the new fame of girly pop. Reham has made a song for the ladies and girls out there, they would relate to it and better understand it.

Guys do not have much emotions or at least try not to understand things women talk about. For those, here's the song by Rehamd Helmy to give them a taste of what goes inside the mind of one girl. She just made a not so whiny song, that heart and a fine music. Vocally, I think Reham can do better as she is not letting herself break free in that department.   

Reham Helmy - Hanssah / ريهام حلمي - هانساه

Sunday, July 22, 2012

كليب احمد سعد - انا انسان | من فيلم الالماني The Darkest Egyptian Movie To Date

Thugs are a reality in Egypt and they rule the streets with their muscles, intimidation and weapons. Thugs and bullies are a reality in poor areas around Cairo, they serve a purpose. It's not an Egyptian phenomena organized crime is all over the world, but in Egypt things got easy for a while due to the absence of aw enforcement.  

An Egyptian movie seems to have done a fine job chronicling the life of one hell of a thug, a hero sometimes who indulges in a life of weapons, muscles, ladies and money. I shivered when saw this promo song with some shots form the movie that seems to keep it real

The actor is right for the job, he has figured the looks and the heart of the role. Music is a big part of thugs life, that's why the movie has had at least four original songs. I would want see this movie, the human emotions reflected by and the many characters in supporting role are amazing.

كليب احمد سعد - انا انسان | من فيلم الالماني

Richard El Haj Unleashes Magdy Sa'ad This Ramadan

Magdy Sa'ad is a guy who has never made the A list, but in the word of his fans, he is the top man in song style. Magdy has one of those convincing sorrow filled voices, just like Tamer Ashour. So his fans are naturally younger males who have nothing to gain or lost in this world.

This Ramadan was was unleashed with two track, Richard El Haj, the man behind the Pyramedia music label has been releasing many Ramadan related songs/hymns to celebrate the occasion. A prayer is what most need during those tough times--the heat and the political instability. 

Magdy Sa'ad - Baraket Ramadan / مجدي سعد - بركة رمضان

Magdy Sa'ad - ALLAH Wahed / مجدي سعد - الله واحد

Salah Kurdi And The Sexy Piano Moment

Wael Jassar, Fadel Shaker, Saad Ramadan Saber El Robaei, Reda, and a dozen other Lebanese singers do the same song that Salah Kurdi just released about the places where he used to frequent with now his ex. The lyrcis are good and the Lebanese dialect works for this song.

He is talking about the past and his regrets...he is the one left alone. We need to get a new mantra in the Arab world, there's always another fish in the sea, so stop the whinging and get out there. The song won;t fix anything, in reality it might make you feel worse of.

 I do not think this is a music video that will win awards. It was filmed here in the states (Flordia and New Yorkj) As a vocal performance, Salah Kurdi has all the right tools. He is an accomplished composer who is dabbling into singing after his work has made many famous. Elissa, Adam, Saber El Robaei, Ayman Zabib and Saad Ramadan have all taken songs from Salah.

Salah Kurdi - Nafs El MaTareh / صلاح كردي - نفس المطارح

Saturday, July 21, 2012

See "Super Nancy" Come For Your Arab Kids

Lebanese director Leila Kanaan has shared with the web a sneak peak of the new Nancy Ajram look for her all kids album. The title will be Super Nancy, and that will be a character played by Nancy thought out the album and its promotional material.

It's a sad day when Arab parents let other people teach their kids good lessons. Nancy Ajram is a good mother and a great positive role model for all kids out there, but that does not mean she should replace parenting. I do not think that's her plan, but this is what most Arab parents do when they let outsiders preach to their kids for money.

Aside dorm that, this will be a fun album for all the kids out there. We have already heard a teaser for the upcoming album.

Nancy Ajram - "Super Nancy" Album All Songs (Samples)

A Different Maya Nehme - Enta Ana مايا نعمة - أنت أنا

Maya Nehme known how to dance, and knows how to start up the party. Her performances in Beirut clubs and events are well known. With so much energy, it becomes so hard to find a sober song that allows the singer to exhibit her vocal strength. A nostalgic song about the always good yet distant past.

Something tells me she is trying to do that in her latest single Enta Ana "You Are Me" A love song done in a French style about a lady that loves her man. I do like the music, it's lounge music at best. Maya tries to make the song work to her advantage. I do not know if I am ready for this song, I am not used to Maya being all calm.

But to her credit, she has tried to give the song a different flavor of her voice.

Maya Nehme - Enta Ana مايا نعمة - أنت أنا

The Rapping Mc Gaza - Meen Aja / إم سى غزة - مين أجا

Here's a fresh sounding rap song from the Palestinian Gaza based rapper known as Mc Gaza. Mc Gaza filmed his rap video in Gaza City, consider it a tour of Gaza downtown--everywhere else sucks really. Feel free to spot the rapper filling in for the unknown solider monument. Looking slick and stylish ain't easy in Gaza, but rappers have to have a swag.

I like the graffiti, and the masked man represents something, not sure what it's at the moment--maybe Israeli collaborators. I do not like the smoking bit, it''s really not cool Mc Gaza. The video gets wired toward the middle with the rapper shaking and incredible closeup.

Keep on mind, this is a local production where there is little support for artists, so A for effort.
Mc Gaza - Meen Aja / إم سى غزة - مين أجا

Friday, July 20, 2012

WATCH: The Newest Arabic Ramadan Songs For This Year

Ramadan has inspired singers to sing for generations now. Some of those songs are classics, but most of them are throwaway songs that are self serving songs where the singer gets to advance his career. I have listened other new Ramadan songs, but they keep coming and I do not mind sharing on this blog.

Some of those songs are more religious than other ones, but they all want to celebrate the hold month in different ways. Take for example Karim Mohsen not a religious guy but he had a song with a good message...do not just be good in Ramadan...there are more months as you know.

Most of the songs below come form the country of Egypt, and come from stars with different fame and interests. enjoy this momnth

Karim Mohsen - 30 Youm / كريم محسن - 30 يوم

رمضان , ناصر المغني Ramadan ,Naser Almughanni

Ramadan Gana Nesma m4v YouTube

Amr Tantawy - Shahr Kareem / عمرو طنطاوي - شهر كريم

050 Band - Aywa Ana Intentionally Funny Song

050 Band delivers great live performances where they show an apatite to get better, they have always gotten better as they get more gigs. They came to the spotlight more than a year ago and have manged to retain a large fan base.  Now they are back with yet another humorous song of theirs.

In "Aywa Ana" it's me, the one wearing funny things, eating American things and wearing cool sneakers. This is an funny response to the many voices in Egypt who accuse the activists of being foreign imports. Yes, I have no shame nor was I raised up well....I am the one who causes the crash of the crash.

hope you like it...I know I liked the message and the guitar does not hurt.
050 Band - Aywa Ana / زيروخمسين - أيوا أنا من برنامج البسطه

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Lebanese Dalida And Her Magic Ring

Let's get one thing off my chest, Dalida is a good looking lady. She does have a a good enough voice to carry a pop song, and her music video is pretty cool if you ask me. I like the funky and bright colors it has. I love the TV bars affect and the way the music video came together.

I do not love the song, but I am fine with it. Many comments on the video come from chauvinistic pigs who are calling this clip soft core porn. I beg to differ. This is a Lebanese singer who is doing a song in the Gulf Dialect and thus she tends to get gigs to perform in concerts in places like Kuwait.  

 Dalida - Khatem Sehry / داليدا - خاتم سحري

This Ramadan The World Loves Youssef Arafat

 Yousef Arafat, the nice guy who almost won Arab Idol title a year ago is making a run for his career with a song for Islam. A song that no two will disagree on...the song is about beauty of Islam. A great choice form this Jordanian super awesome dude.

While most would chose a song about romance to kick off their career in the post TV fame on Arab Idol, Yousef chose Ramadan to launch his career and he soinds very different than I remember it. I like this choice, I am sure the most conservative and lightest ones would cheer his choice. So Yousef is back to make this very hot Ramadan a bit more tolerable.

I like the behind the secnes footage of the young artist. I am sure it was a lot easier to make this song than other ones. Too many studios would welcome such a song, but romance gets no love as there are over saturation at the moment. He was Mr. nice guy and all the judges enjoyed having him part of the show. While Arafat got his name out there on Arab Idol, he now chooses to praise the religion that came to destroy all idols.

 Youssef Arafat Din elsalam mpg 4

البوم تامر على - ألاسلام الحقيقى Tamer Ali and The Real Islam Album

For a guy who spends a great deal of his time talking about love and romance, Tamer Ali is pretty out of his comfort zone with his Muslim themed album. He titled is the real Islam. Again Tamer is a dude who earns his money making music for romantic songs and music.

This Ramadan he is releasing a 6 track album all about the real Islam. While this is a great effort on his part, I think this is hardly an album. I like his take on the religions, it's personal. But I'm afraid the title is a little bit of a loaded term. It's a big deal to make music and call the collection, the real Islam. It might offend some people and it might not even resonate well with most people.

Having said that, I must say, I was never a big fan of Tamer's voice, but this album has me in his converts aisle. He shows real talent and a big heart as he approaches those songs. In the past Tamer has done covers of songs he composes the music for, but none of them has even registered with me. This time I feel the singer sounds very mature. Check out the samples below.

1-Yarab Matsbnesh
2- El'slam El7e'y
3- Ana Nadman
4- Alem Belly Feya
5- Ahdeny Ya Alah
6- Enta El Amal

سيمبلات البوم تامر علي - الاسلام الحقيقي 2012

Rahim, WAMA, Fouad, And ZeeZee Adel Songs Released For Ramadan 2012

Between TV dramas and songs made just for those shows, and the few singers who find spirituality through music in this holy month, I include few songs that were just released few hours ago in usher in the month of fasting. Needless to say these songs tend to come from Egypt as the Lebanese singes tend either don't care enough about Ramadan or to be non Muslims--which is cool too.

Ramadan is a huge deal in Egypt, so let's see how those songs celebrate the month...

While many of those songs are made for TV shows and have little to do with the actual month, ZeeZee Adel who is due for a comeback released a Ramadan worthy song, a prayer asking the Lord for things to world out for her in her life. Naturally speaking the video is loaded with nature and serious notes. This is ZeeZee's first song in about three years.

Mohammed Fouad comes back and recorded this song for what might be this Ramadan's  biggest sho with Ahmed Sakka.

ZeeZee Adel - Ya Rab

Mohamed Rahim - Walla W Lak Sho2a / محمد رحيم - والله ولك شوقة

اغنية واما - اعمل عبيط | Wama - E3ml 3abet

Mohamed Fouad Asbab Ktera (Intro) - محمد فؤاد اسباب كتيره

In Soula, Assala Nasri Gets Cozy With Other Singers

Soula is the name of the show where Syrian (she is also Bahraini, Egyptian, Palestinian and American too) singer Assala Nasri invites guests to her home. Other singers and clebrites are also welcome, but the fromat is in a studio inside Assalah's home.

A cozy atmosphere where singers can relax and jam with Assalah, They talk, they ask questions and sometimes answer them. But Assala is the star of this format, she has a strong personality and always have something to say. She is also in an age where she can relate to most of the singers she hosts. A singer kicks off a song and the rest plays chorus

I think the guests might get a small payment, and those who are too big, might just do it as a favor. I think this is cool idea--it;s not entirely new, but it does bring a number of voices from all over the map and have them sing together. I like the video below, where you get three male singers and one super super sweet gal that goes by the name Suma.

Soula With Adam - Soma - loai - Ahmed Saad (3-5)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mahmoud El Mohandes Rings In Ramadan 2012 محمود المهندس - رمضان بيخبط

Ramadan is the time we pray, eat, sleep, pray, read the holy book, and then over eat. But in between, there are those awesome Ramadan songs talking about food and daily rituals and dishes. I like such songs, they help create an atmosphere of excitement especially for the young ones.

Ramadan is a magical time, and it is the perfect season to make memories. So, get excited the first song to ring in the holy month is in and it's by young and good looking new comer Mahmoud El Mohandes who just released his song for us all.

I like it, Ramadan is knocking at our doors and bringing all the good stuff with it, says the song. I am nostalgic now because Mahmoud's song paints the perfect Ramadan picture, with everything including the dessert.

Mahmoud ElMohandes - Ramdan By5bt | محمود المهندس - رمضان بيخبط

A Composer, A Manly Man And The Lady Known As The Sun

Najwa Karam and Melhim Barakat might be linked romantically, but their collaboration goes deep in history. They both have so much love and passion to give, and they both adore every inch of their home, Lebanon. So they got together with another Lebanese dude who has sang fro everything and everyone in Lebanon.

Together they performed this song live and the fans went crazy as those three legends know how to fire up the crowds best. This an older clip when we barely knew some of the people in it, but looking back at it, it was one of the most memorable live experiences in Lebanon.

Each of those singers brings something to this song, they personal and the voices are about even. Lebanese are proud people and they have done their country proud in every corner of the world. It's time to watch this clip and think how beautiful life can be.

عاصي الحلاني و نجوي كرم و ملحم بركات - لبنان يا بلدنا

I Love When Stars Fake It By Acting Surprised

Egyptian singer who looks like a club bouncer Khaled Selim and Sarah they girl that seems to never quit were guests of Tratata, a talk show that brings a pair of Arab entertainers and have them sing in duets and talk about their work.

I like both stars, but I did not like the fake look at least Sarah had when she was asked to sing something in English, this was not just a moment that came out of the blue....they always talk about these things ahead of time.

Again, both stars have stellar voices that which made them a great couple to do a cover of the all too famous Whitney Houston song "I Will Always Love You

Khaled Selim & Sarah I WILL ALWAYS LOVE U/خالد سليم وساره الهاني

Men 2idy 2012 The Bad Nay 2012 / نايا - من ايدي HQ

Naya makes good pop songs, but with one problem. Her manager is a schmuck, a jerk and classless bastard. Why? He is using Naya's talent to get back at his wife and he has always made that clear. Naya is a tented star and she need a ruthless manger to help get her gigs and songs. What Naya does not need is to get caught in a family feud.

She is a star on her own not a younger version of Nawal Al Zoghby, the divorcee of Naya's manger who I won't mention his name. Naya has a sweet voice that makes her a great candidate for breakup pop songs, but her latest do not seems o live up to Naya's earlier work (check out tizkar).

Men Eidy is a pop song made for clubs, you cannot do a sad song to a party music, it just takes away from the fine crafted lyrics. It's what it's a good song with loud music
Naya - Men 2idy 2012 / نايا - من ايدي HQ