Why Nancy Ajram loves the UAE: 'Dubai is our city ... many places there are special and dear to my heart'

Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram talks about her upcoming new album, and why she loves performing in the UAE

epa07730337 Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram performs during the 2019 Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts at the Jerash archeological site, Jerash, some 46 km North of Amman, Jordan, 20 July 2019. The Jerash festival takes part from 18 to 27 July 2019.  EPA/ANDRE PAIN

There is a reason why Nancy Ajram is at the top of her game. Not even motherhood can keep the Lebanese popstar away from her rigorous touring and recording schedule.

The 35-year-old may have given birth to her third child in February, but the Ajram machine has kept rolling with a sell out Eid Al Adha show at the Dubai World Trade Centre earlier this month, in addition to headlining slots in some of the Arab world’s biggest music festivals. Ajram is now turning her attention away from the road and back to the studio. A new album, her ninth, is in the works with a bunch of songs already recorded.

She tells us that her hard work is all down to the love she has for her fans, which she describes as her “lasting asset”.

Tell us about your new album, the release date and what it includes?

I am currently working on an album and it will include eight to nine songs. I have actually started recording them but did not specify a release date – but I am currently examining all [necessary] steps. I will sing different songs in Lebanese, Khaleeji and Egyptian dialects. In many songs, Ahmad Madi is the songwriter and Ziad Burji the composer. I made sure that songs combine romanticism and my own special style in every song. I will also release a solo song soon.

With so many songs released, which ones mean the most to you?

All the songs are beautiful and dear to my heart no matter the dialect and I always make sure there’s a variety in the songs’ dialects.

How do you pick your song topics? Are they dictated by emotions or what is happening in society around you?

I think the artist should sing for both. We are humans like everybody else with feelings and emotions. Therefore, the artist must sing what he feels and what touches them. They must also send a message to express what society wants to say.

You recently gave birth to your third child, your daughter Lya. How do you balance everything between family, friends and stardom?

I personally won't take any steps I am not sure I can take. I make sure it does not affect my family at all. My family is my priority and I find myself capable of balancing between my responsibilities as a mother and an artist.

You are known to have a cheerful and childish spirit – how do you maintain it?

I am pampered from within and I am cheerful by nature, as a matter of fact. I believe that I will remain a child from within but I cannot tell for how long the childish looks will last.

You have a formidable social media following. How important is it for you to keep up with life online?

It is very important that the artist stays connected with fans through social media and digital development. I believe these are means to keep the artist close to their audience. Their love is primarily the reason for the artist's success, better yet, they are the artist's lasting asset. No matter the number of songs or hits we make, the success and influence of an artist remains fundamentally down to the love and appreciation of fans.

You are a regular performer in the UAE. What are your impressions of the country’s evolution over the years?

I have visited the UAE many times, and [I come] very often. I usually participate in festivals and organised parties. Dubai is our city which is famed for its speed and development, that is why I am keen on organising most press meetings and musical concerts in Dubai, and there are many places in Dubai that are special and dear to my heart.

Al Roeya is the Arabic language sister newspaper of The National