Ragheb Alama: ‘You can’t imagine how hard it is today to release hit songs’

The Lebanese superstar talks about his upcoming new single and the hardship of staying on top

Lebanese singer Ragheb Alama performs during the 53rd session of the International Festival of Carthage at the Roman Theatre of Carthage on July 19, 2017 in Tunis. (Photo by SALAH HABIBI / AFP)
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After the remix release of Amr Diab's 1996 hit song Nour El Ein performed by American hip hop star French Montana, Lebanese pop singer Maya Diab and Lebanese Canadian R&B/pop singer Massari, the latter has announced a new duo in the making.

This time joining him is Lebanese star Ragheb Alama. The collaboration came about after the two performed Alama's 1980s hit song Ya Rayt at a private party last month in Beirut.  

A new collaboration in the works

In an interview with The National, Alama said that something is definitely in the works with Massari, but that the details are yet to be finalised: "The project is definitely being envisioned, and once everything is clear to us we will reveal more details and say who will also be working with us." 

However, Alama said that this would be different from the remake of Nour El Ein, despite the fact that the two share the same Godfather, Wassim Slaiby, better known as Tony Sal, a Lebanese-Canadian entrepreneur and music manager, who is also Anghami's head of international partnerships.

Alama doesn’t specify any timeline for the launch of the new song. “We can’t say at this point. Knowing that in this domain, time can’t be calculated and what seems to need a month, might eventually consume more than a year.”

There's no doubt that Alama is a fan of duets. This announcement comes only shortly after his collaboration with Nigerian singer, songwriter and actress Seyi Shay for Yalla Habibi which was released at the end of July. "The song found great success outside the Arabsphere," he said. 

Ragheb is also releasing a new song called Reddeli Kelmati before the end of the year. "The new song is dramatic, and I might film the music clip in Athens, Greece."

This summer, Alama released a new hit song Elli Baana that reached 32 million hits shortly after it was posted on his channel. 

Staying on top

When speaking about the state of the music industry today, the 56-year-old singer pointed out that it is currently ruled by chaos: "After all the success I have achieved, you can't imagine how hard it is today to release hit songs. It's like climbing a mountain. A new song should reach more dimensions than the one before, following a lot of hard work and determination, of course.

"With the dwindling of production companies, everything in this field changed from when I started my career – technology is way more advanced and production itself took a different structure. All these factors force singers and musicians to adapt to the evolving field to maintain their level and excel," he said. 

No grooming for eldest son

Alama, who is a father of two, has denied speculation about prepping his older son Khaled to join the music industry, following a social media presence that has put his son in the spotlight. 

“The entire concept doesn’t even cross his mind, but the images only mirror the fact that both my sons, Khaled and Louai are always next to me,” Alama said.

“I don’t deny that I wish that one of them would want to share the field with me, but it seems that the only way they are interested in the music domain is through giving me advice and opinions regarding every step I plan to take in my career. Let’s call them my consultants”.


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