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.
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.
“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.
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.