Lebanese singer Amer Zayyan, known for singing the mountain genre, burst onto the music scene as a promising star with his first song "Betaalimli Bdeqelha" in 2009, the year star-maker Simon Asmar discovered him and helped launched his career.
He recently released his first album "Denyet Oshaq" (World of lovers) in the Lebanese dialect for Rotana, which produced his music video "Lebanon Bado Hbabu" (Lebanon wants its beloved).
The music video was directed by Rindala Kodeih and launched by Rotana during a huge premiere celebration in Beirut.
The video of the song, written and composed by Yasser Jalal, was filmed in Spain and called expatriates to return to Lebanon.
Amer spoke with Al-Shorfa about the song and his career:
Al-Shorfa: Tell us about your first album, "Denyet Oshaq".
Zayyan: The album was produced by Rotana, and I collaborated in creating it with a large number of poets, composers, and distributors who presented me with beautiful songs. The album features nine songs, some of which are already known to the public, including "Aa Triqak", "Bi Noss El Leil", "Aam Asses Hali" and "Eben Maallem".
The new songs include "Denyet Oshaq", "Lebnan Bado Hbabu", "Zaalna El Hawa", and "Malla Warta".
Al-Shorfa: Why did you only make a music video of "Lebnan Bado Hbabu" and not other songs?
Zayyan: The song means a lot to me. When I heard it played by its writer and composer Yasser Jalal, I knew the song would spur expatriates to return to Lebanon and it would serve as my signature song when I tour abroad, as I am always requested to sing this sort of song.
Al-Shorfa: Tell us about the music video you filmed with director Rindala Kodeih?
Zayyan: Rindala chose to film "Lebnan Bado Hbabu" in Spain and tell the story of a lover living abroad. The main character travels to her to bring her back to Lebanon. The song, just like the video, clearly calls on expatriates to return to the home country. When I hold events for [Lebanese] expatriates living abroad I sing Lebanese songs to them and that awakens their nostalgia. The song is inspired by a young man who attended one of my events in Los Angeles, and Yasser Jalal's lyrics and music are beautiful. Its direction conveyed the message we wanted to send and Rindala even made the Spaniards dance the Dabke.
Al-Shorfa: Do you think this song could help tourism in Lebanon?
Zayyan: "Lebnan Bado Hbabu" advances tourism and promotes Lebanon. Contrary to popular belief, the song is patriotic and calls on expatriates to return to the home country, and my hope is for peace to prevail so they can all return. I will carry the song to expatriates during my tour of the U.S. and Canada in October. I hope they like it and that it holds great meaning for them.
Al-Shorfa: The release of the music video coincided with rumours that you got married. How true are these reports?
Zayyan: It's just a rumour. I am not in love with anyone and all there is to the story is that while filming the video in Spain a young lady took a souvenir photo with me and posted it on Facebook. I do not know the young lady or even her nationality. I am currently single and not thinking of getting married because I am still at the start of my career.
Al-Shorfa: How did you get your start in music?
Zayyan: I got my start in 2009 when I met the great director Simon Asmar, at which time I recorded the song "Betaalimli Bdeqelha" and the "Aa Tariqak" music video with singer Eliane Mahfouz. In 2010, I released the song "Bi Noss El Leil", which I performed on Studio al-Fann on which I appeared as a guest.
Al-Shorfa: Speaking of director Simon Asmar, it was reported that there is a problem between the two of you.
Zayyan: There is no problem between us. All there is to the matter is that my contract with the office of the director Simon Asmar and Studio al-Fann expired and I am currently in a new phase with Rotana. I learned a lot from him. Simon Asmar is a great teacher and an institution, and our cooperation yielded beautiful and beneficial results.
Al-Shorfa: Is there anything new on the horizon following your first album?
Zayyan: I finished work on six new songs for my next album and I am currently working on two others. All the songs are folk ballads.