American hip hop star French Montana has teamed up with Lebanese pop singer and TV personality Maya Diab and Lebanese Canadian R&B/pop singer Massari to remake Amr Diab's 1996 hit song Nour El Ein.
The trio will sing the remix, which was released by Anghami last week, at the Miss Lebanon beauty pageant competition in Beirut today.
Listen to it here:
Behind the project is Lebanese music composer Hadii Sharara, arguably the region’s most successful music producer: he first came up with the idea of the collaboration while working on an album with Massari.
He reveals that it took two full years for it all to come together. “French Montana and Massari wrote their own lyrics, while Maya sang the lyrics from the original song. My job was to make this tailormade project unique and innovative, fusing the best of West and East, filling the gap in all three kinds of music,” he adds.
Sharara thinks the remix is going to be the hit of the season and that it is the success and the diversity of backgrounds of the three singers that make it all work. “They [Arab artists] need to be smart enough to think of ways to cross over and reach audiences outside their safety zone. I believe that this step will launch Maya Diab internationally.” He strongly encourages Arab artists to take the risk, and try to reach new horizons in new markets abroad: “Our music has to reach international audiences one way or another”.
So how did it all begin? "Massari is originally Lebanese living in LA, and he felt an urge to launch music related to this region, and therefore we decided on remixing a hit Arabic song," Sharara tells us. "It is a necessity nowadays that Arabian music reaches Western countries. He already teamed up with Palestinian pop singer and winner of the second season of Arab Idol, Mohammad Assaf, and Akon, and so I suggested a new list of artists with Maya's name on it."
So how did French Montana get on board? Sharara explains: “Massari’s production company suggested we add one more factor to the song, which is hip hop, choosing French Montana as a bridge between the American, Canadian and Arabian audiences. He is definitely the link between the three for the song to cross over internationally.”
Anghami held an event last weekend at The Westin Dubai Seyahi Hotel where the trio surprised fans with the launch of the song. The song is part of an effort by the company's head of international partnerships Wassim Slaiby to expand Anghami's music reach and lineup. Sharara describes Slaiby, better known as Tony Sal, a Lebanese-Canadian entrepreneur and music manager, also husband of former Miss USA Rima Fakih, as "the Godfather of the entire project".
A music clip for the song has been shot in Paphos, Cyprus and is expected to be released soon.
Nour El Ein has been released in full on https://play.anghami.com/explore