Nassif Zeytoun embraces the responsibility of fame

A handout photo of Nassif Zeytoun (Courtesy: Star FM)
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Star Academy winner Nassif Zeytoun was in Abu Dhabi recently to promote his latest single Sawt Al Rbaba. Part of his trip saw him visit Star FM (owned by Abu Dhabi Media, which also owns The National) as guest of Live at 5. The National’s Fadwa Torbey spoke to him minutes before going on air.

How did your life change after star academy?

Star academy for me was the platform I needed. I changed from a normal guy studying in the Higher Institute of Music in Syria to a celebrity who made a mark in the music industry. So because of that show now I have bigger responsibilities of entertaining millions of fans. Personally, I didn’t change at all. I’m still same person whose family comes first.

Tell me more about your new song Sawt Al Rbaba?

This song has a special place in my heart. In other words I consider it part of me. The director of the clip, Walid Nassif, and I collaborated together to shoot four small episodes called Promise to preview the song. In those episodes we highlight the story of my success and the making of the video from A to Z and how my dream became a reality because of the fans. I want this song to be legendary, an important piece of Arabic folklore.

What goes through your head when your performing?

When I’m standing in front of my fans and I see the smiles and the happiness on their faces, it only gives me motivation and a pushes me forward to keep up with their expectation.

What is some advice you can give aspiring performers.

Singing form the heart cause this is how you will touch the heart of your fans and reach to them on higher levels. Also be yourself and not try to copy anyone. Also, avoid vanity because this will drive you away from your fans. Be down to earth and on the same level. That way your songs will be part of their everyday lives.

Live at Five with Farouk Al Darazi and Elie Dabley is on every Thursday at 5pm on Star FM. For more details go to