After her last album "Keef Al-Amar" appeared in 2008, singer Amal Hijazi released "Waylak Min Allah," an album of 12 songs blending new musical experiences, including songs in the Moroccan style and the Iraqi style known as "white".
She is returning to singing after a break of two years due to marriage and the birth of her son. She also has an adopted daughter.
Al-Shorfa met with Amal to discuss her return to the music scene.
Al-Shorfa: After an absence, you are back with "Waylak Min Allah." Tell us about that.
Amal: I put all my energy into "Waylak Min Allah" to announce my return to the music scene after a two-year absence. I took my time selecting the songs. This album contains 12 songs, including musical styles I am performing for the first time.
Al-Shorfa: Was the album a challenge for you?
Amal: I do not consider it a challenge, but I had to return to the music scene with a strong effort after an absence. I thank God that the responses I received were more than I expected.
Al-Shorfa: Tell us about the content of the album.
Amal: It is an album with diverse content and singing styles. It includes a new singing style, the Morocco style in the song "Albi Ma'azab", drawn from Moroccan folklore, in addition to the song "Waylak Min Allah," with lyrics by Marcel Madur and music by Turki.
I collaborated with songwriter Ahmad Madi and composer Haitham Ziyada in "Ainy Aalya" and "Keteer Aliek," and with songwriter and composer Salim Assaf on four songs, which are "Beamlny," "Matsmeeny," "Bakhaf" and "Sho Badk Fey." This, of course, is along with my collaboration with Iraqi songwriter Karim al-Iraqi in the song "Beyounk Zaal," with music by composer Samir Sfeir.
Al-Shorfa: Was it hard to sing in the Moroccan style? Amal:
It is not entirely Moroccan, but it is famous in the Arab Maghreb and was performed previously by Moroccan artists. It is just that I rejuvenated it. It had been sung to a slow musical rhythm, but I performed it to dance music. Moroccans loved it a lot.
Al-Shorfa: What about your collaboration with songwriter Karim al-Iraqi?
Amal: I loved his lyrics so much ever since he wrote for Kazem el-Saher. Listening to the song "Beyounk Zaal," composed by Samir Sfeir, I found it wonderful in terms of words and melody. The dialect in which I perform it is known as the white dialect.
Al-Shorfa: Can you perform in the Iraqi style?
Amal: Why not? I have no problem performing in any dialect. If I am presented with an Iraqi song, I have no objection to singing it.
Al-Shorfa: Does that include giving concerts in Iraq?
Amal: I hope to do that, and I hope peace will prevail in the country so we can perform lots of concerts there.
Al-Shorfa: How would you describe your collaboration with director Fadi Haddad in the "Waylak Min Allah" clip?
Amal: I liked the idea he presented. He gave the story meaning. If the song was not shot the way it was, and the details were not added, it would not have been done correctly. Fadi demonstrated his mastery. He was my first collaboration, and that laid the foundation for later efforts between us.
Al-Shorfa: It is common today for the children of song artists to appear in video clips. What about you?
Amal: I do not like [the idea of] my son appearing in these works, as is the case for my husband.
Al-Shorfa: How would you describe your relationship with Rotana, which produced your album?
Amal: It is very good. I do not have any problems, and I hope we maintain this relationship.
Al-Shorfa: Between motherhood and art, where do you find yourself?
Amal: In my situation, I handle both without sacrificing one for the other. But my son is a priority in my life. Motherhood, as well as my home, takes up a lot of my time, but I've learned to reconcile the two.
Al-Shorfa: Are you giving up your career as a businesswoman?
Amal: No. I am currently a businesswoman in art. I closed the restaurant I opened because I did not feel it was my field.