Lolo Zouai co-writes track for K-Pop band NewJeans

Lolo Zouai co-writes track for K-Pop band NewJeans
Lolo Zouai has co-songwriting credits on NewJean's latest track, 'Right Now.' (File/Getty Images)
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Updated 23 June 2024
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Lolo Zouai co-writes track for K-Pop band NewJeans

Lolo Zouai co-writes track for K-Pop band NewJeans

DUBAI: French Algerian singer Lolo Zouai has written a song for K-Pop band NewJeans for the five-piece’s Japanese debut.

The 29-year-old hitmaker shared a snipped of the song and its video on Instagram, where she shared her excitement about the co-songwriting credits.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lolo Zouaï (@lolozouai)

“‘Right Now’ by @newjeans_official out now!! Written by me. I’ve been a fan of NewJeans for a while and I’m honored to be a part of their Japanese debut! Also sang some background vocals on this one. Shoutout the incredible @freerangeneighborkid, we had so much fun writing in Korea last summer. I (love) this song and these girls,” she captioned the post.

NewJeans is a South Korean girl group composed of five members: Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haerin, and Hyein. They are known for their 1990s and 2000s-style pop tracks, with “Right Now” hitting streaming platforms as part of a double release alongside a song titled “Supernatural.”

Zouai has had a busy year so far, most recently performing at China’s Strawberry Music Festival while she works on a new album.

The artist, who divides her time between Brooklyn and Los Angeles, took to Instagram earlier this month to share images and videos of the concert with her 298,000 followers. “72 hours in China,” she wrote, mere weeks after she took to social media to tell fans she is working on a new, unnamed, album.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lolo Zouaï (@lolozouai)

The songwriter and producer, known for her unique blend of R&B, club-pop and hip-hop, has gained an international fanbase for her dynamic stage presence and genre-blending music.

Her career highlights include the release of her debut album “High Highs to Low Lows” in 2019 and her follow-up album “PLAYGIRL” in 2022.

In April, Zouai took to Instagram to celebrate the five-year anniversary of her debut album. “Happy 5 years to the album that started it all (sic),” she wrote. “Thank you to all my lil lo-riders for being on this ride with me from the beginning (sic).”

To celebrate the milestone, Zouai announced to her fans that she brought back merchandise pieces originally created at the time of her debut album. The collection included sweatshirts and T-shirts featuring Zouai’s name, some of which were signed.

Meanwhile, her follow up record “PLAYGIRL” featured 13 songs.

After the album’s release in October 2022, the singer was featured on a billboard in New York’s Times Square.

The singer, who has over 300 million digital streams, embarked on an expansive tour for the album, showcasing her music to audiences across North America and Europe in 2023. The tour, which included 30 stops, featured cities in the US, France, Canada, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

 


Where We Are Going Today: Hues florist in Jeddah

Where We Are Going Today: Hues florist in Jeddah
Updated 26 sec ago
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Where We Are Going Today: Hues florist in Jeddah

Where We Are Going Today: Hues florist in Jeddah

Hues in Jeddah is a florist that offers hands-on bouquet-making workshops allowing participants to learn essential floral skills and techniques.

These workshops are designed to be fun, educational, and engaging, making them perfect for celebrating special occasions like bridal showers, baby showers, birthdays, or girls’ nights.

Once you step into the shop, you will feel the friendly atmosphere and personalized guidance to ensure everyone feels comfortable. It is fun, educational, relaxing, therapeutic and enjoyable.

Roses, spray roses, delphinium, and matricaria are particularly popular, along with seasonal blooms, and the spiral floral arrangement is the most requested among workshops.

It is a great activity to share with friends who appreciate the opportunity to learn new skills and create something beautiful, it is also one way to celebrate happy moments with loved ones.

During the workshops, participants are guided through every step of the process, from selecting the perfect blooms to crafting stunning floral arrangements. They are provided with all the necessary tools and materials, including a variety of fresh flowers, greenery, containers, and floral tools.

The experience is further enhanced by the personalized guidance offered by the Hues team. Once the workshop is over participants can enjoy keeping the flower bouquet they have made.

Located in Rawdah district, Prince Saudi Al-Faisal, Hues also offers a range of services, including flower cart rentals, bespoke floral arrangements, and event planning for corporate events, gifting, hotels, and private occasions like dinners and weddings.

For more information, please visit the Hues website at www.hues-sa.com.


Jon Voight criticizes daughter Angelina Jolie’s Israel-Palestine stance

Jon Voight criticizes daughter Angelina Jolie’s Israel-Palestine stance
Updated 25 July 2024
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Jon Voight criticizes daughter Angelina Jolie’s Israel-Palestine stance

Jon Voight criticizes daughter Angelina Jolie’s Israel-Palestine stance

DUBAi: US veteran actor Jon Voight this week has publicly criticized his daughter Angelina Jolie’s views on the Israel-Palestine war, accusing her of being “influenced by antisemitic individuals.” 

In November, Jolie – known for her humanitarian activism and was formerly a special envoy of the UN High Commission for Refugees – posted a statement accusing Israel of “deliberately bombing children, women, families, deprived of food, medicine, and humanitarian aid” in violation of international law. 

In an interview with Variety this week, Voight said: “She has been exposed to propaganda. She’s been influenced by antisemitic people. Angie has a connection to the UN, and she’s enjoyed speaking out for refugees. But these people are not refugees.”

“I love my daughter. I don’t want to fight with my daughter,” added the Academy Award-winning actor. “But the fact is, I think she has been influenced by the UN. From the beginning, it’s been awful with human rights. They call it human rights, but it’s just anti-Israel bashing. She’s ignorant of what the real stakes are and what the real story is because she’s in the loop of the United Nations.” 


REVIEW: Natalie Portman and Moses Ingram shine in ‘Lady in the Lake’

REVIEW: Natalie Portman and Moses Ingram shine in ‘Lady in the Lake’
Updated 25 July 2024
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REVIEW: Natalie Portman and Moses Ingram shine in ‘Lady in the Lake’

REVIEW: Natalie Portman and Moses Ingram shine in ‘Lady in the Lake’
  • Alma Har’el’s adaptation of Laura Lippman’s novel is mesmerizing TV

DUBAI: In Apple TV+’s excellent drama-thriller miniseries “Lady in the Lake,” Natalie Portman becomes the latest major movie star to make the move to television.

Portman plays Maddie Schwartz, a discontented Jewish housewife living in Baltimore in the 1960s. Maddie used to harbor dreams of becoming a journalist, but instead married the overbearing and abusive — at least verbally — Milton (played by Brett Gelman of “Stranger Things” fame) and became a stay-at-home mom to their son Seth (Noah Jupe), now a teenager. When a young girl, Tessie, goes missing during the Thanksgiving Day parade, Maddie becomes obsessed with finding her (which she does, though Tessie is dead) and, in the process, makes the decision to leave her husband and dedicate her time to trying to solve Tessie’s murder. In the process, her life converges with that of Cleo (Moses Ingram), a Black woman who is working three jobs to try and lift her children out of poverty, unaided by her feckless husband, an aspiring standup comedian.  When — spoiler alert, kind of — Cleo’s body is found near the same lake as Tessie’s, Maddie continues her rise as a reporter at the Baltimore Sun by involving herself in that investigation too.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Apple TV (@appletv)

Portman shouldn’t have felt too out of place filming “Lady in the Lake.” Showrunner Alma Har’el’s adaptation of Laura Lippman’s novel is a heavily stylized, sometimes surreal, cinematic experience that suggests the budget can’t be too far below that of a big-budget movie. The greatest surprise, perhaps, is that the star of the show, at least based on the first two episodes, is not Portman (who is, nevertheless, excellent), but Ingram, whose portrayal of Cleo is a magnetic blend of confidence, vulnerability, courage, anxiety, street smarts, and wit. Awards will surely be coming her way.

“Lady in the Lake” is hugely impressive and confident in terms of performance, directing, writing, and aesthetic. But it won’t be for everyone. It’s also very dense and takes its time building its characters’ worlds. And it’s not just a straightforward thriller; it also addresses hot-button topics such as race, privilege, oppression, institutionalized injustice and more. So “easily accessible” this is not. But once you’re drawn in, it’s some of the most engrossing television you’ll see this year.


Saudi violinist, DJ and producer Kayan: ‘Everyone wants to see how the new generation will present the Saudi song’ 

Saudi violinist, DJ and producer Kayan: ‘Everyone wants to see how the new generation will present the Saudi song’ 
Updated 25 July 2024
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Saudi violinist, DJ and producer Kayan: ‘Everyone wants to see how the new generation will present the Saudi song’ 

Saudi violinist, DJ and producer Kayan: ‘Everyone wants to see how the new generation will present the Saudi song’ 
  • Kayan talks creating a new style of music for her homeland 

DUBAI: The Saudi violinist, DJ and producer Kayan (whose real name is Noor Faisal) doesn’t do things by halves. When she decided to learn Indian music, for example, she went all in. She dressed the part, met with a guru, and sat on the floor while learning in order to “feel it fully and live it fully and understand its essence,” she tells Arab News. “I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but when I get into something, I get into it with all its elements.”  

Kayan’s journey has been unconventional and unique. She was reportedly the first female violinist in the Saudi National Orchestra. She is the first musician in her family, but says she may have inherited a love of the arts from her grandmothers, who both painted.  

Kayan was raised in the Eastern Province, and went to a government school, where she wrote poetry, painted, danced and took part in school plays. (Supplied)

Kayan was raised in the Eastern Province, and went to a government school, where she wrote poetry, painted, danced and took part in school plays. Where music was concerned, she says she was a “deep listener,” enjoying Khaleeji, Egyptian, and Lebanese tunes. Later, Western pop and electronic music entered the picture. 

“For me, sound and music is how I express myself — how I see life, how I feel life, how I remember life. It is my way of experiencing this existence, externally and internally,” she says. “Existence” is the translation of her chosen artist name. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by KAYAN (@kayan_music)

After school, Kayan spent six years living in Bahrain, earning a bachelor’s degree in international relations. But her heart always belonged to music.  

“My degree could get me the best corporate job, and it did get me that for the longest time. So choosing to leave that and go into music, it was a question of course,” she says. “There were a lot of questions along the way.” 

Kayan performing at Riyadh Golf CLub. (Supplied)

While in Bahrain she studied Eastern music — from Khaleeji to Hindi — and also worked for BBC World Radio, where she learned about music software and hardware. It was also where she began to learn what she calls the most challenging instrument in the world: the violin. 

“It picked me, I did not pick the violin,” says Kayan. It all began with a YouTube video of a violinist playing on the streets, using a loop pedal.  

“I was in that moment. I was frozen in time and space, listening to that performance over and over again,” she recalls. “Something inspired me and, the next day, I bought a violin and I registered with an institute. I didn’t think about it. I just did it. 

“I had no clue that the violin was the hardest instrument in the world,” she continues. “With the violin, there is no way to know where the note is. Your ear has to guide you because the instrument has no identification of where the note is.” So, she bought other instruments to experiment with, including the drums and the xylophone. But, at the back of her mind, she was still thinking of the violin.  

Kayan believes that playing the violin requires both technical and emotional abilities, as they both “contribute to one another.” She favors the emotional part more. The violin is known as a highly expressive instrument, tapping into melancholy, longing and sorrow. It is also believed that the violin is the closest instrument to the human voice, akin to a person telling an intimate story.   

For her solo work, Kayan combines her violin playing with electronic music — she is also a DJ and producer. (Supplied)

Her relationship with the instrument was strengthened when she returned to Saudi Arabia in 2020, a time when the country’s entertainment industry was undergoing unprecedented changes and receiving heavy government backing. She won a scholarship for aspiring musicians launched by the Ministry of Culture and the Saudi Music Commission, then joined the Saudi National Orchestra. As its first female violinist, Kayan says that the pressure is on, not just for her, but for her Saudi colleagues too.  

“It’s a big responsibility, because Saudi is developing in a way that, when it opened up, you’re expected to be the best in the world. I’m someone who didn’t start in a proper way, because I was trying to figure things out. . . We are expected to learn Eastern and Western music, and be the best at both, and represent the country, and score A-plus.”  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by KAYAN (@kayan_music)

For her solo work, Kayan combines her violin playing with electronic music — she is also a DJ and producer. She has performed across the Kingdom, notably in AlUla and Riyadh, as well as abroad. One of her main goals is to modernize Saudi music — staying true to its essence while infusing it with electronic vibes.  

“People are curious to know what Saudi music sounds like — not in its traditional form, but in its contemporary form. And that’s the question,” she says. “Everyone wants to see how the new generation will present the Saudi song.”  

Kayan is currently working on a new concept album of Saudi electronic music, she says, adding that her ultimate dream as an artist is connection.  

“Sometimes, music is a friend. Sometimes, it’s a healer. Sometimes, it is magic. To me, it is not an escape — but it can be,” Kayan says. “On a personal level, I always dreamed that if I felt something beautiful and I played it and I felt its beauty, I would love for someone else to feel that beauty.” 


Recipes for success: Chef Andres Marcelo offers advice and a recipe for short rib tacos 

Recipes for success: Chef Andres Marcelo offers advice and a recipe for short rib tacos 
Updated 25 July 2024
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Recipes for success: Chef Andres Marcelo offers advice and a recipe for short rib tacos 

Recipes for success: Chef Andres Marcelo offers advice and a recipe for short rib tacos 
  • The executive chef at The St. Regis Red Sea Resort began his culinary journey aged 13.

DUBAI: Bolivian chef Andres Marcelo began his culinary journey aged 13, cooking for friends, family, and as the dedicated cook for his Boy Scouts troop.  

“It was always a hobby. I always enjoyed it. For me, cooking was about bringing together people, enjoying moments, and the social aspect of cooking,” he tells Arab News. 

And for a while it seemed as if a hobby was all cooking would be for him.  

“I come from a middle, upper-class family, and it’s not traditional to choose a career in the service or hospitality industry,” Marcelo explains. He did four years of civil engineering but realized it was not the career he wanted. 

At 20, he opened an online gaming cafe. To persuade his guests to stay longer, he started making food for them. It was then that he decided to enroll in a three-year culinary arts program in Argentina.  

Since then, he has traveled to 13 countries, training in prestigious restaurants, including three-Michelin-starred establishments in Spain and Japan. His career began in 2013 at Grand Hyatt Dubai, and he is now the executive chef of The St. Regis Red Sea Resort.  

Here, he discusses his favorite dish and his top tips for amateur chefs. He also shares a recipe for short rib tacos.   

When you started out, what was the most common mistake you made?  

Not paying attention and not really being aware of the environment around me. I used to burn myself a lot, and I still have a couple of marks that remind me to not rush myself, even if it’s busy. You have to take a moment to plan and to organize yourself. As long as you have your mise en place ready, you’ll always be fine — that means, for example, having your spoon in the right place for when you need it, and having something to hold hot items with.  

What’s your top tip for amateur chefs? 

Always have a sharp knife. If you have a dull knife, you’re more likely to hurt yourself, because you will have to use a lot more pressure, and then, if the knife slips, you’ll get hurt. With a sharp knife, you barely need to put any effort in to cut things. So always have a sharp knife. And always taste your food. You cannot serve something if you don’t taste it.  

What one ingredient can instantly improve any dish?  

I love lemon zest. It goes in both savory and sweet preparations, and it really brings up a lot of flavors.  

When you go out to eat, do you find yourself critiquing the food? 

Not really. Food is very subjective. If someone puts something in front of me, I’d think that they think it tastes good to them. I might comment on something technical — like if I order a medium steak and it comes well done — but I don’t comment on the taste or the composition of a dish, because, like I said, cooking is very subjective. Something that I find delicious might not be for others. I remember I used to have a chef who didn’t like coriander at all. I love the taste of coriander, especially in Asian cuisine. But if I presented a dish with coriander in it to this chef, he wouldn’t like it.  

What’s the most common issue you find in other restaurants? 

Since the pandemic, I feel staff are not paying enough attention to the guests. There is a major shortage of staff all over the world in hospitality, in restaurants. We’re overworking them. Sometimes restaurants now might have one waiter serving 10 tables. This is the big mistake that is happening in the industry now.  

What’s your favorite cuisine? 

I love Asian cuisine. It takes me back to my childhood. At least once a week, we would go out for Chinese food — well, Chinese-Bolivian food to be exact. Then, when I started traveling and I went to Japan and China, it was something completely different. I love the taste. I love the flavors and the textures. Dumplings are one of the best. I could eat dumplings every day.  

What’s your go-to dish if you have to cook something quickly at home?  

I’d do a mushroom risotto or a pasta carbonara — something simple with no more than five ingredients. If you have guests, they’ll never be upset with a nice mushroom risotto. 

What customer request most annoys you? 

When people disrespect the staff. This is what annoys me most. 

What’s your favorite dish to cook?  

My favorite is paella. My dad, being Spanish, used to cook very good paella. He learned from my grandfather. One of my earliest memories of being in a kitchen is helping him to prepare this dish. So, I really enjoy cooking paella or ceviche. That’s also something we used to cook together. It brings back fond memories of my childhood and being with my father. 

What’s the most difficult dish for you to get right?  

I would say the most difficult things are the simplest things. Like, spaghetti with tomato sauce can be the trickiest, because everyone has eaten spaghetti with tomato sauce, so they will compare your dish with all the others they’ve tried and with what they think is the best. Now, being in the Middle East, and in Saudi Arabia, if you make a dish that their mothers used to make a lot, let’s say, they’ll compare it to what they love. So, for me, the most complicated thing to do is to cook the best version of something that’s local. You’re trying to beat the fond memories before you create a new one.  

As a head chef, what are you like? Do you shout a lot? 

Discipline is very important in the kitchen, but I don’t think that being disciplined means you can’t be kind and respectful. I very rarely shout. It would have to be something really, really, really, really, really, really bad for me to get upset and get to that point. I’m a very patient person. For me, it’s about respect. And that comes from both sides. If you respect your team, your team will respect you back. It’s all about working together. The kitchen is not a one-person show. You cannot do everything on your own. If you create an environment where the team are not happy, they will certainly not give good food.  

I’ve worked in places where everyone shouts. People still work, but it’s not sustainable. In the long run, people get tired and frustrated. People need to come into an environment where they are happy to work.  

Chef Andres Marcelo’s short rib tacos recipe  

For the short rib 

INGREDIENTS:  

4kg short rib; 40g salt; 20g black pepper, freshly crushed; 150g butter 

INSTRUCTIONS:  

1. Rub the salt, pepper and butter into the meat. Let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. 

2. Preheat oven to 220C. 

3. Cover the meat in aluminum foil and cook for 20 minutes. 

4. Reduce heat to 110C and cook for 4 hours.  

5. Uncover the meat and remove the bones. If the meat doesn’t pull off the bone easily, cook for another hour at 110C. 

6. Place the meat aside for later use. 

For the wheat tortilla 

INGREDIENTS:  

800g all-purpose flour; 3.5g salt; 100g warm water; 100g corn oil 

INSTRUCTIONS: 

1. Mix the salt, flour and corn oil until it becomes crumbly. 

2. Slowly mix in the water to form the dough. 

3. Cover with a damp cloth for 20 minutes. 

4. Divide the mixture into three. 

5. Roll out each piece of dough into a 12cm-diameter circle. 

6. Cook both sides of each piece of dough in a hot non-stick pan. 

For the guacamole 

INGREDIENTS: 

4 ripe Hass avocados; Juice of 2 limes; 3g fresh coriander, chopped; salt and pepper to taste 

INSTRUCTIONS: 

1. Crush the avocado pulp roughly. 

2. Add the lime juice and the chopped coriander. 

3. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

For the pico de gallo 

INGREDIENTS:  

200g tomato, chopped; 4g fresh coriander, chopped; juice of 1 lime; 100g red onion, chopped; 1 pickled jalapeno, chopped; salt and pepper to taste 

INSTRUCTIONS:  

Mix all ingredients and reserve for later use. 

For the final dish 

INGREDIENTS: 

250g of the short rib meat; 3 of the homemade tortillas; 60g guacamole; 40g pico de gallo; 10g fresh cheese of your choice, grated; 20g pickle onion; 3 grilled limes; 2 grilled chilis; 5g fresh coriander  

INSTRUCTIONS: 

1. Top the tortillas with the warm meat. 

2. Top with guacamole, pico de gallo, pickled onion, and coriander. 

3. Serve with extra pico de gallo, cheese, guacamole, limes, and chilis.