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Here is one of a series of posts we are doing on music from the Middle East.
This is a thoughtful interview with a young Iraqi singer, now living in San Diego, who comes from a family of singers and song writers–Melad Al Haneen
Introduction: Welcome to Our World Interviews. Today for our bilingual Arabic and English interview we are continuing our exploration of music from the Middle East, by speaking with an Iraqi singer First we will ask him how he pronounces his name, and ask him if he can tell us a little bit about his musical background.
My career in the world of singing began with my participating in – San Diego Voice- a program that Fouad Bodagh established in San Diego. Foud supported me, as well as many other singers. It was a challenging and nice experience–the first appearance on the stage in front of an audience. My maternal uncle dedicated a song to me (Message to the conscience). In the future, I hope to be a good singer to serve my country well.
Second question. “Okay, can you tell me a little bit about your family background in music; I understand that your family was also involved in music in Iraq.
My father has a good voice, and my maternal uncle is a good song writer and composer. Both of them supported me to continue in my artistic path. After the 2003 war, my dreams vanished. In the future, I will do my best to be the best singer to raise up the name of Iraq.
Third question. “Okay I wonder if you could tell us what kind of music you listened to, and what kind of music your family listened to, in Iraq, while you were growing up?
Definitely, we have the best singer in the Arab World. He is Kadhim Al-Saher, whom my father advised me many times to listen to, (his songs) and sing. He is one of the most well-known artists in the Arab Homeland. I hope that I can be like him.
Fourth question “Okay I wonder if you could tell us how you learned how to sing?
I learned how to sing from my father, who was a good singer. He encouraged me to sing and supported me from the beginning, with my passion in singing. I started to sing with Laheeb Al-Iraqi, and Wisam Zakko. If God wishes, I will sing with famous artists in future.
Fifth (last) question “So, I wonder if you could tell us what sort of musical performances and activities you do now?
One of my recent activities is a song that I am preparing now, titled (Oh God, she made me crazy), this is the first or second performance that I will present. And I hope the audience will like it.
Verbs: شارك – participate, اعطى- give, يكون – to be, يدعم – support, يهدي – dedicate, يغني – sing, يفيد – benefit, ينصح – advise, يمشي – walk, يرجع- return back, ينهي- finish, يعمل (يسوي) – to do, يحاول- try, يرفع – raise, يسمع- listen, يحب – love.
Vocabulary: الصوت – The Voice, برنامج – program, سيتج (منصة المسرح) – stage, جمهور – audience (crowd), رسالة- message, ضمير – conscience, وطن – country (Homeland), مستقبل – future, اغنية – song, فنان مشهور- famous artist, خال – maternal uncle, الحان – (melodies) tunes, مسيرة – path, حرب – war, احلام – dreams, رأس – head, الوطن العربي – Arab Homeland.
كاظم الساهر – Kadhim Al-Sahir
ام كلثوم – Um Kalthoom
ناظم الغزالي – Nadhim Al-Ghazali
And here for our listeners are two recordings by Melad Al Haneen!
The first song was written by his family members!
Melad Al Haneen Song For Iraq