Lebanese singer Dana Hourani on the future of the music industry

Lebanese singer and influencer Dana Hourani was expected to release her new album during this period. (Instagram)
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Updated 21 May 2020

Lebanese singer Dana Hourani on the future of the music industry

DUBAI: Like most industries around the world, the music industry has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Concerts have been put on hold and releases pushed back.

Lebanese singer and influencer Dana Hourani was expected to release her new album during this period, but because of the lockdown and travel restrictions, the music sensation has been unable to fly back to Beirut to finish her music.

“I was supposed to start touring in June after the release of the album, but I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Hourani told Arab News.

However, the singer is still optimistic about the future of the music industry, despite the downfall. “Artists won’t be able to perform concerts or gigs, and I think that’s what’s going to change. But other than that, I don’t see how it would change because everything is digital now,” she said.

The social media star spoke to Arab News about her singing career.

“I started singing when I was about 12 or 13. I had a couple of friends — one who played piano and another one sang — and then I just started getting into it myself,” Hourani said.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The studio’s been on - Luv u @anthonyfromadonis @giofikany !!

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But when you are 13 years old, you might just be the only one who thinks you have a good voice. And this was the case for Hourani. She needed affirmation.

“I am the type of person who is so cynical about myself and I’ve always been that way. I won’t think something is good until I get the opinion of several people around me,” she said. “So, at the time, I would see the reactions of my family, a few of my friends, and get a hint from them.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Earlier today - Something cute coming soon.

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“My uncle also was visiting from France and he is an excellent guitar player. So, I picked up his guitar and he taught me a couple of chords.”

Not only did she develop her passion from there, but she also wrote her own music in English and honed her skills until the age of 18.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A crooked nutcracker. - - - - #fashion #style #photography #editorial #dubai #ksa #beirut

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Despite her music performances in university and the few steps she took to reach her goal, it still seemed hard for Hourani to achieve her dream after she moved to Dubai and got a full-time job.

“I felt like here was more of a corporate world and that this dream is over. Maybe it wasn’t the right time. I had more of a realistic goal,” she said.

“There are so many talented people that sing and play instruments, and they can get places, but it just doesn’t happen because you kind of need to be at the right place, at the right time, have the right resources, be smart about how you can go forth.”

And the right time came for Hourani in 2019, when she recorded her first single, “Ella Enta.” 

“I didn’t think I would sing in Arabic, but as I got older I started feeling more of a connection to my own roots. I am living in the Arab world, I am an Arab, my mother tongue is Arabic, and I want to have that connection with an Arab audience,” she said.

What was it like to record her first song?

“The first day, I was a bit nervous. I didn’t know if this was working. I was always afraid of how Arabic singers pronounce everything and I always felt like I am doing it wrong,” she said.

“There are no rules in music. It’s all about what you create and what you want to make from it. I went on adopting that kind of mentality and it worked out because I wasn’t under pressure as to how I am supposed to deliver something.”

Hourani said that her social media presence supported her music career. “It helped because I had some audience who would listen to anything I put out there before I even started, but I definitely do not depend on Instagram to get my music about.”

The pandemic has made the upcoming star realize that the one thing she wants to pursue in future is music.

“It is what I love the most. I itch to go back to the studio every day,” she said.


Lebanese it girls Nathalie Fanj and Nour Arida join protests in Beirut

Updated 19 min 19 sec ago

Lebanese it girls Nathalie Fanj and Nour Arida join protests in Beirut

DUBAI: On Saturday, thousands took to the streets of Beirut’s Martyrs’ Square in anger to protest against Lebanon’s leaders following the devastating, mushroom-shaped explosion on Aug. 4 that killed over 150, wounded thousands, and left hundreds of thousands homeless. 

Among the protestors was Lebanese fashion blogger and fashion week Dior Beauty ambassador Nathalie Fanj, who documented the demonstrations, which took place not far from the blast site, on her Instagram Stories.

Fanj, who earlier this week wrote she was “devastated” and “scared for her kids” following the deadly blast, posted clips of protesters holding up the Lebanese flag and carrying signs demanding an international investigation against the government that seemingly allowed a stockpile of explosive material to sit unattended at their port for more than six years, only to explode on Tuesday with such power that it was felt more than 120 miles away in Cyprus.

Nathalie Fanj joined protests in Beirut’s Martyrs’ Square on Saturday. (Instagram)

Fanj also reported to her 855,000 Instagram followers that the authorities were allegedly firing at the protesters.

“We were not armed, protesting peacefully and they shot at us and it wasn’t rubber bullets!” she alleged in her Stories. “They were firing at us! As if we’re the corrupt ones stealing and killing!”

Among the protestors demanding justice for the lives lost due to government negligence was model and actress Nour Arida. The model also shared pictures and clips from the demonstrations on her Instagram Stories.

“Today we were in the streets to get back this little angel’s rights,” wrote Arida on Instagram alongside a series of images of the protests and a photo of Alexandra, the 3-year-old girl, who passed away during the blast.

Lebanese model Nour Arida was also among the demonstrators demanding change. (Instagram)

Dubai-based fashion influencer Karen Wazen reposted one of Arida’s images of the demonstrators in Beirut and captioned it: “Every expat is there today in spirit. We want our Lebanon back.” 

Lebanese fine jewelry designer, Ralph Masri, whose pieces are beloved by Celine Dion, also shared footage of protestors gathered in Martyrs’ Square on his social media platform. The designer, whose atelier was destroyed during the blast, wrote there was “no going back.”

A number of public figures are showing solidarity for the Lebanese people. Amal and George Clooney recently donated $100,000 to Lebanese charities, while British hitmaker Dua Lipa urged her 50.1 million Instagram followers to help by donating blood.