Previously a member of Elissa's band, Lebanese violinist Joelle Saade has made her own way over the past year and a half as a solo instrumentalist with the production company AM PM.
Saade had talked with Al-Shorfa about her career.
Al-Shorfa: Where did the title "Queen of the Violin" come from?
Joelle Saade: I have been playing violin for 16 years, and several years ago I reached a very advanced level of playing, especially in terms of performance. I know how to attract the public during my concerts and I was thus dubbed the "Queen of the Violin".
Al-Shorfa: Why did you choose to play the violin?
Saade: Because it is the most difficult musical instrument. Also, when a woman plays it, she offers a beautiful image of this instrument of wonderful melodies. It is an instrument inhabited by sensitivity, and I am sensitive.
Al-Shorfa: Between playing the violin and engineering, which do you prefer?
Saade: I walk along two parallel lines. Engineering, as a profession, is necessary to secure my future. It is steady work for continuity of life. But I was born to be a violinist.
Al-Shorfa: Meaning you may one day give up engineering to play full time?
Saade: The day may come when playing the violin is my only job. But before I reach this stage, I must prove myself in my area of speciality.
Al-Shorfa: How did you enter the scene as a violinist?
Saade: It was through the programme "Studio El Fan" in 2002. It is the foundation of my career as an instrumentalist, as it introduced me to the public. It is an important programme for embracing and launching talent, and it does not accept participants on it until they undergo a test.
Al-Shorfa: Who influences you?
Saade: I love the playing and performance of violinist Jihad Akl a lot, and he was a major motivation because I am walking in his footsteps toward professionalism. I also love the performance of global musician Vanessa Mae, and I also admire the Bond group.
Al-Shorfa: Where does your family stand on your career choices?
Saade: They are my biggest encouragement because through my qualifications and talent, I can improve my performance. Credit for where I am today goes to my father, a player of the lute and violin. When I was eight, he enrolled me in the National Conservatory, where I studied playing the violin for ten years. We are a musical family. My brother also plays the violin.
Al-Shorfa: You have been playing for 16 years, but when was your actual artistic launch?
Saade: About three years ago. The beginning was through my playing with the band of the star Elissa. And about a year and a half ago, I decided to go solo.
Al-Shorfa: What distinguishes your performance?
Saade: My way of playing. To start, I play with full self-confidence before the public, and I play with joy visible on my face and in my eyes. Most important, I play with all my heart, like I am dancing with the songs I play.
Al-Shorfa: What music do you play?
Saade: I play the music of old songs in Arabic, French, English and Italian. And I play soft music and fast, and a lot of Fairouz.
Al-Shorfa: Where do you perform your concerts?
Saade: I perform many of them in Lebanon, and my aspiration is to play abroad. I performed my first concert outside of Lebanon early last June in Sulaimaniyah, Iraq, and it was very successful.