Striking success in the competitive music industry can be tricky business, and artists who have one-hit wonders are a common phenomenon. However, Lebanese-Swedish singer and actor Aziz Abdo isn’t one of those people.
The former Mr Lebanon, 45, is probably best know for the hit song ‘Jaw Jnoun’, which was released in 2006 as part of Abdo’s debut album ‘Wallat El Nar’. The track is still widely sung at weddings, birthdays and other events, which proves his eternal appeal. More than 15 years later, and with many other songs in his discography — including a co-writing credit on Zayn Malik and Timbaland’s song ‘Too Much’ — Abdo is orchestrating his music comeback with new tracks ‘Chou Ser Li Bik’ and ‘Howay Howay’.
In an email interview with Gulf News, the Dubai resident opened up about his fresh tracks, what inspires his music and what it feels like to still be loved by fans.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in music?
I was always fascinated by the fact that music could connect people despite the fact they might not understand the lyrics. I have been fascinated by Latin music and rhythm since a young age and I felt that I want to connect with people through music. I guess this is one of the main reasons that made me pursue a career in music, also I can say being in the right place at the right moment.
What is your first memory of singing/performing?
Oh, I have many but one thing I remember the first time I was on stage, people were screaming my name and I felt very nervous to the point that I forgot some of the lyrics.
You’ve lived in a number of places over the years. Has that influenced your taste in music and the kind of music you create?
Of course, living in Europe and the Middle East made me want to make music with a twist, with maybe acting as a bridge to connect both worlds.
Some of your songs are extremely popular and have been long-enduring. How do you feel about people being connected to your music for so many years?
It’s overwhelming really. Every time I meet a fan that talks about my old songs it warms my heart. Especially when I perform in concerts and people request my old songs. It’s amazing how songs from 2004 can live for such a long time. They even still play my old songs on the radio.
Could you tell me about your new music and the inspiration behind it?
Since I am living in Dubai for a while I decided to sing in Iraqi dialect, which is very popular in the area, I have recently released two songs in Iraqi dialect and with God’s grace it has been doing very well. We have already hit more than 2 million views on YouTube in less that three month since their release. I love diversity in music so you will definitely see me exploring different things.
To you, what elements make a song great? Is the lyrics, the melody, the message of the song?
All the three elements are essential. A great artist know how to combine the three elements in order to create a masterpiece.
What project in the recent past that you’re really proud of, and why?
All of them really, as each project is dear to my heart, I always put my all in creating music. However, the song I made with Zayn Malik and Timberland... it definitely took my a career to a whole different horizon/perspective.
What can fans expect from you next?
It’s a surprise haha. All I can say is that it will be something different, however, it is so Aziz Abdo.