Lebanese singer George Chahid has slowly built his singing career with his own funds.
Chahid has been singing for four years and has four songs to his name, the latest of which -- "Khatifeh" (Abduction) -- he made into a music video.
George, who entered the music world with a background in business administration, has personally produced all of his songs. Al-Shorfa talked with the young singer.
Al-Shorfa: Let us start with "Khatifeh". Tell us about this song.
George Chahid: "Khatifeh" is a song whose music and lyrics are by Tony Nahed. As for directing credits, they go to Anthony Mirshaq and production is by Music Nation. The music video for this song was filmed in an hour and a half on the Beirut Corniche and in Kaslik using one camera and without any lighting. This music video has not cost me a penny because Khaled Agha, the owner of Music Nation, and his team believe in me and my talent, which they describe as unique and distinguished. The video is important because in it, I appeared without any makeup, lighting or special filming effects.
Al-Shorfa: The theme and title of this song are attention-grabbing. Has it been successful?
Chahid: People liked this song and it has attracted four thousand viewers in three days on Music Nation's website and the same goes for my Facebook page. The song's theme is beautiful and expresses the state of the younger generation and their economic and financial situation. It talks about young men who kidnap their beloved and marry them as the only alternative to throwing a big wedding as demanded by the bride and groom's families, in addition to other requests our generation is unable to fulfil. "Khatifeh" talks about defying family [tradition] and the lyrics are a play on words accompanied by beautiful music.
Al-Shorfa: Do you consider yourself to be a voice for youth?
Chahid: I see myself as their mouthpiece because in all my songs, I am sending a message. In my song "Khadek a Khadi" I sing about a young man in love and the song "Awal Da'et Alb" deals with the state of being in love. In "Nassi Hobak", heartbreak is the theme. As for "Khatifeh", I sing about finding a solution for two lovers after their love has matured. My songs have meaning. Making a song is similar to cooking where all the ingredients have to be there to put together a delicious dish.
Al-Shorfa: You do not seem to be a prolific singer.
Chahid: That is because I produce my songs out of my own pocket. I work throughout the year and save what I earn to produce a song. Production is expensive, as is recording, filming and marketing a song. Till now, I have not worked with a production company. I am my own manager and I am proud of what I have accomplished today since I am only 24 years old.
Al-Shorfa: Why have you not found a production company yet?
Chahid: I have received offers from companies but I am not one who makes compromises. I am now finishing my first album and then will present it to a production company. There are four well-known songs on this album and I have just finished the fifth and will start preparing for the sixth. As soon as I release this album, I am hoping to land a deal with a [production] company. I have talent and I welcome whoever would like to sponsor this talent so long as it is a fair deal for both parties. Personally, I wish there were someone who would invest their money in young talent so the latter is not forced to emigrate.
Al-Shorfa: Do you think that it is risky of you to enter the music scene today?
Chahid: I think I am risking a lot and proof of that is I spend everything I earn on my songs. I put all my money into music and I do not regret that because I love singing. What I do is a gamble but you can still succeed if you want to even if what you have to offer coincides with difficult conditions.
What is the difference between a famous singer and me? A famous singer found support until he became a big name. I am building myself and trying to do so on solid ground because I deserve that. I love singing and I studied music in addition to business administration and am constantly working on improving myself.
Al-Shorfa: Would you consider singing in other dialects?
Chahid: I have no problem with that. I just put the final touches on an Arab Gulf song called "Min Bein Kul el-Bashar", with lyrics by Ahmed Taha and music by Samir Abu Attia, which will also be included in the album.
Al-Shorfa: Finally, what would you like to achieve?
Chahid: I would like to reach my potential in singing because I have faith in myself and my talent and I pray to God I realize my dreams.