Ragheb Alama is an extraordinary singer whose stardom started from a very young age and continued to shine till now. He reached the pinnacle of his career. With a distinctive voice and a clear imprint in his songs, Alama made himself a large fan base that remained loyal to his artistic legacy for more than 30 years. He recently released his new song “Istimara 6” which achieved great success in the Arabic music scene. Daily News Egypt interviewed Ragheb Alama to take a closer look at the star’s life and future works.
● How did you see the success of your recent song “Istimara 6”?
I like to present songs that have a different and unique taste. My new song “Istimara 6” was untraditional in terms of lyrics and music, and that carried a lot of challenge to me. It was written by Nader Abdullah, composed by Mahmoud Al-Khayami. It was a new experience from different aspects, and I feel very happy of the great success achieved by the song since its release to the public, achieving millions of views on the Internet and streaming apps. The audience’s interaction with the song was also great.
● Your previous song “Taalili” was released on your birthday, why?
I released the song on my birthday because it was all about love, nostalgia, and optimism, and carries positive energy and remarkable love, especially for everyone who met his life partner. I felt that the song reflected a state of love and infatuation between lovers, so I preferred to appear to the audience on my birthday because I see that love is the most beautiful thing. As you know, the song also achieved millions of views on the Internet and streaming apps as soon as it was released, and the audience’s interaction with it was great. There is more than one song that will be presented during the coming period in the Egyptian, Lebanese, and Gulf dialects, in which I cooperate with creative writers, composers, and distributors.
● You have a unique charisma and special presence in all of your music videos, why didn’t you think of acting in cinema?
I only love singing and acting is not my priority. But if I ever thought of acting, the movie would be about my life story.
● If you were offered a role in a movie or TV series, would you agree?
My priority will be presenting a film that tells the story of my life, that’s what I’m thinking about, and frankly, I like singing more than acting. I love my songs and enjoy performing in my concerts. I really take pleasure in recording my songs in studios, shooting them in music videos, and singing in concerts.
● How do you see the “Mahraganat” songs?
Let’s admit that the world has changed. We must understand the situation well and go along with things in a way that does not change our identity. Only the audience can decide the fate of any artistic work. Only the public can judge whether those songs are good or not. And for your knowledge, I sometimes like to listen to Mahraganat if they are good in terms of lyrics and music, and we must admit that the world is no longer the same as the past. Look around you, you will find that everything has changed. Shouldn’t music change as well? I think it is better to move forward and develop our music so as not to get lost in the midst of these changes. Mahraganat is a form of singing that exists and imposed itself on the scene, which we must accept.
● Egyptian Musicians’ Syndicate recently banned some of Mahraganat performers. How did you see the decision?
I highly respect all the decisions of the Musicians’ Syndicate in Egypt, but the ban is useless, and the best thing is to give advice. And I repeat what I told you a few moments ago. We must admit that the world has changed, bearing in mind that there are many who cannot sing properly or present low-quality songs because they have no artistic talent in the first place, but modern technologies and devices have made them artists. At the same time, there are others who have talent and need only guidance to take the right path, and I think this is what the Musicians’ Syndicate has done, as it always strives to preserve authentic art.
● Some of those banned Mahraganat performers released new songs via social media recently. How do you see that?
This is normal due to the rapid development of social media, as many songs are now released on social media only. It is very important for songs to be performed to the people at concerts and similar avenues. Overall, I think the issue was resolved recently and a large group of them got their singing permit, and that’s a good thing.
● Some say that social media has become the main engine of our lives today. How do you see that?
I see that social media is like a jungle, which has good and bad aspects. Many social media users are respectful, but there are also those who use these platforms to express their hatred and envy for the success of others. Those live like mice underground hiding behind their screen with fake names, characters, and pictures. Some call them “electronic flies” and I call them “electronic waste’. I only care about people who have nothing but love for others and spread positive energy. As for the “electronic waste”, I do not care about them, because all their comments are negative and not useful, and it is wrong to respond to them. They really do live like mice or flies, and therefore it is better not to think of them as normal human beings.
● Almost all singers release their songs on YouTube. Do you think the era of television ended?
YouTube is very important, but nothing could replace TV so far. YouTube has its users and television has its audience.
● In the recent period, you obtained the citizenship of the United Arab Emirates, and some criticized the step. How did you see the matter?
I was honoured and proud to have the Emirati citizenship because the UAE with all its leaders, government, and people matches my morals and represents the future of my children who loved it. It is a grace to belong to a country whose leaders rule with morals, goodness, justice, and love. They do their best to make their citizens and residents happy.