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Amr Diab, Sherine, Assala among Arabic music stars releasing new albums

Despite rising internet piracy, several prominent Arab singers have decided to bring full length albums to the music market

Yasser Moheb, Sunday 27 Aug 2017
Amr Diab
Amr Diab
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Whose song will earn the title of summer 2017’s greatest tune? As waves of new songs come flowing onto radio stations, each artist hopes to stand out from the crowd.

Alternating between pop, hip-hop, folk and electronic music, Amr Diab, Sherine, Mohamed Hamaqim Latifa and Assala are fighting to succeed.

Many artists in the market choose to rely on their loyal public rather than try to attract a young and fluctuating audience in search of new tunes to animate their dance floors and beach vacations.

With his new album, Nadman (I Regret), Mostafa Kamel alternates between tragic lyrics and vibrant shaabi tunes, as he usually does.

Ramy Sabry also joined the musical marathon with the album Al-Ragel (The Man). In the first three weeks following its release, 50,000 copies were sold, according to Nader Ramzi, who sells CDs in Downtown Cairo. The internet indicates three times this amount.

Sabry’s album features collaborations with several young lyricists like Wael Tawfiq, Amir Teema, Ahmed Ali Moussa and Tamer Hussein, who bring a refreshing youthfulness to the tunes. Some women found the album to be misogynistic, by way of its title.

Young singer and actor Mohamed Mohsen also recently celebrated the release of his new album, following months of preparations, four years after the release of his two hit singles Fi Kalbi Makan (There Is a Place in my Heart), and Farhetha Bel Donia (Her Joy is Worth the World).

His new album, titled Habayeb Zaman (Old Times Lovers), is a delight to the singer’s fans. The album offers a varied repertoire of songs, all of which still preserve the authenticity of tarab (oriental trance music) for which Mohsen is famous. This is especially true of the songs Telegraph and Zay Aghani Zaman (Like Old Times Songs), where luth and violin dominate the orchestra and accompany his beautiful voice.

As for Lebanese singer Wael Kfouri, his new album, simply titled W, also met with success. Feature nine romantic tunes, this new CD was well able to survive in a market beset with internet piracy. Wa’t Ele Bensaki (When I Forget You), Ghadartini (You Cheated Me), Khayef (I am Afraid) and Halla ta Feiti (Don’t you see?) are the most played online among his songs. Kfouri’s artistic choices reflect a high level of maturity.

Highly awaited

The most highly awaited of albums this season was pop star Amr Diab’s Meadi El-Nas (Surpassing Others). Written by Ossama Mostafa and composed by Samer Abo Taleb, the eponymous tune was already performed by Diab, prior to the album release, during his summer concerts.

Since its release, the single has sparked much debate among fans who believe it was addressed to singer Sherine, whose comments about Diab’s old age had angered many of his fans.

The second most awaited release was Tunisian singer Latifa’s self-produced album, which featured 12 songs in the Egyptian, Moroccan and Lebanese dialects.

With her new album Mohtamma Bel Tafassil (Interested in Details), Syrian artist Assala decided to give hip hop a try. This is most evident in the song Assed Eih (What Do You Mean?). Six of the 12 tracks featured on the album are sung in Egyptian dialect.

Egyptian star Sherine is still in the process of finalising her new album, which is set to come out in September, during Eid, and coincide with the release of Mohamed Hamaki’s next album.

Hamaki has just finished recording songs for his new CD, which features 15 tracks, most of which were composed by Nader Hamdi.

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