Syrian singer George Wassouf trends on YouTube with single on late son

Ati Metwaly , Thursday 23 Feb 2023

Syrian singer George Wassouf's new single Noss Omry (Half of My Life) dedicated to his late son, is in the top 10 trending music videos on YouTube in Egypt.

George Wassouf

Released on 14 February, the single is currently the eighth most viewed music videos.

The touching video is an ode to his oldest son Wadih who passed away on 6 January due to complications from gastric bypass surgery.

Calling his son "the most beautiful thing in my life," Wassouf goes on to sing "I'll pay half of my life just to live with you for a while."

Set in sepia colours to mark the memory of the past, the music video uses numerous photographs showing Wadih as a small child, teenager, and a grown-up man, together with Wassouf and other members of the family. The video also presents Wassouf in the recording studio as he shifts between singing and pensive moments.

Wassouf's hallmark hoarse vocals add to the expression of the father, who, while talking to his son takes the listeners into the singer's mourning state. The sense of agony is additionally underlined by the music arrangement with lengthy string lines leading the dark emotions. Embraced by soft percussions, the distanced occasional solos from woodwinds underpin the musical image. 

By the end of the song, Wassouf introduces a recitative-like segment, saying "My days with you were beautiful, I wish they were longer," before closing the track with a musical pain vocalisation.

Noss Omry was released on YouTube and numerous streaming platforms. To date, the song has reached over 1.6 views on YouTube.

The song is composed by Mohamed Yehia, with arrangement by Zezo Farouk and lyrics by Khaled Tag Eldeen.

Though Wadih was never highlighted in the media, his passing in January created a significant stir. Many outlets began commenting on the dangers of the gastric sleeve operation (stomach reduction), a choice of numerous people aiming to lose weight. Wadih, one of three sons of Wassouf and his ex-wife Shalimar, went through the procedure in a hospital in Lebanon on 27 December 2022. A week later the complications resulting from the operation brought him back to the hospital where he eventually passed away on 6 January 2023.

Just like other sons of Sultan El-Tarab -- as Wassouf is often referred to -- Wadih did not have a music career. It was reported that Wadih's voice was as unique as his father's though he did not sing professionally. He did, however, appear on several occasions, in small settings, dedicating his singing performances to Wassouf.

Wadih studied at the Louise Wegman School in Beirut, Lebanon, and graduated from the Lebanese American University, majoring in marketing and business administration, in 2005.

George Wassouf is one of the most successful Arab singers with over 60 million records sold worldwide. 

Born in Tartous, Syria, in 1961, Wassouf began singing as a child yet his career was launched with a highly successful single El-Hawa Sultan and appearance on the Lebanese show Studio El-Fan (1980) at the age of 19.

He went on to release more than 20 studio and live albums, and dozens of singles. 

Wassouf performs in the region and beyond, always attracting large audiences. Equally, he has a large fan base in Egypt. In November 2022, he performed at the Golden Jewel Hotel's Alex Arena, returning to Alexandria after 20 years of absence.

Wassouf married Shalimar at the age of 21. The couple has three sons - late Wadih, Hatem and George Jr – and separated in 2009.

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