Massari is the latest fusion of Lebanese Dolce Vita and smooth R’n’B. With his extremely good looks and silky voice Massari has become a big hit in Canada and the Middle East after being in the music scene for a short time. We met with Massari during his visit to Cairo on his Middle Eastern tour. Being extremely down-to-earth and yet so glamorous and making it all so natural and easy, is surely evidence for a versatile persona.
Massari is 26 years, single and looking! Apart from being extremely well-built (understatement!) our Sagittarius names Molokheya as favorite food, loves to play X-box with his two brothers and considers himself a family man.
Massari was born and raised on Beirut until the age of ten when he moved to Canada. In 2002, Massari recorded and released “Spitfire” which garnered heavy rotation on Ottawa radio stations. He has been steadily writing and developing his sound. He returned in 2005 with his self-titled debut album release on May 31, 2005 through MapleNationWide/Universal, which sold out nationwide in only two days.Massari was nominated for 5 Much Music Video Awards in 2006, four for “Be Easy” and one for “Real Love”. Massari won the award for Best PopVideo, during the 2006 MMVAs, for “Be Easy”. Massari means money in the Lebanese dialect.
How did you begin your career?
Every child has a dream of being a star and every child has dream to make a difference. Unfortunately, often reality and cruelty of the world destroys that dream and this innocence. I thank God that I was able to maintain that dream and hold on to it as long as I have. I grew up in Lebanon during the war and obviously music was always a part of me. My first performance was at the age of just thirteen years old and from that time on I think I figured that I was born for being on stage and to perform. With time passing I began to compose and write my own songs I thought one day I want people to sing my songs like I sang other people’s songs and here we are today, God has mysterious ways..
Who are the musical role models that inspired you?
I love and listen to all types of music from the Middle East. I always used to listen to El Set Om Kolthoum, El Set Fayrouz and George Wassouf. At the same time I used to listen to Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Babyface, Boyz II Men and so on. I was able to take the best from both sides.
Who is Massari? Tell us about yourself as a star and as a private person?
Massari the celebrity and the person are one. I’m proud to able to be myself in every situation because unfortunately some people don’t have that. They don’t have the chance to be themselves; they have to act in certain ways to sell themselves. I’m quite content with the way I am, someone who fears God, respects his family and parents. My parents’ blessings to me basically opened a lot of opportunities to me. They always supported and helped me to reach my goals in life and the point where I’m standing in now.
Well, I love life, I love people. I love the fact that I get to do this everyday as this is what I was born to do! This is my life, my job. I dedicated my whole life to this because I know I can make a difference one day so help me God.
Massari, you are from Arab origin and grew up in Canada. How is it for an Arab to find fame in the West? Did you face any difficulties in that respect?
It’s different when you are an artist because you always face difficulties as an artist it’s a very tough business. You can be purple, you can be black, white, yellow or whatever you always will have some sort of difficulties. My Arabic culture helped me in many ways because it made me stand out. Growing up in Lebanon with access to all Arab artists gave an edge on my competition as when I began to compose my music would have a bounce from the East and the West. Funny thing, is that I didn’t do this intentionally, it just came out like that as I have both cultures in me. Thank God people found the sound to be different. I have a song that called “Enta hayati” I which there is an Arabic chorus, I wanted people to relate the Arabic language to positive things like love and respect.
Who are your favorite Arab singers? Could you imagine having a duet with a female Arab singer?
I have many. Regarding the duet I don’t have anything in mind because all I am concentrating on right is my tour and to go out and thank my fans who enabled me to be here and have a tour after only being there for 2,5 years now. I really thank God for this.
Do you visit Lebanon a lot?
Yes, I do. I visit Lebanon a lot. Actually the past few months I have been in Lebanon several times at Star Academy.
Do you know What Women Want?
Of course I know What Women Want. Women want a man they can trust, who could actually listen and understand and be able to trust them that he would make the right choices for both of them.
What men want are women, actually we both want the same things because we are all humans and humans need love and affection, trust and understanding and those are the key. You can’t have a relation or a friendship without these main aspects. You can’t be able to express how you feel to someone without trusting them, and you can’t expect them to do so for you if they don’t love you. It’s a chain reaction. Men and women want the same things; unfortunately some men and some women had bad experiences and based their opinion on these. I’ve been in a relationship for 7 years and I know what women want and I was raised how to treat a woman. Although I don’t have any sisters my mom taught me how to be respectful to women. I believe that both men and women must respect each other, it’s a mutual thing.
What about your dream girl?
I pray that one day God will send me “bent el halal” (he says in an adorable Lebanese dialect). My ultimate dream besides my music is one day to settle down and have a family, have kids; I’m really a family man! I want a girl that understands me and that is able to trust me even if I am away on a tour or so. When you love someone you think of her all the time and you can’t help it. You wonder what they are doing and in a good way of course and you picture the memories of you being with them in your mind and it seems like your whole life begins to revolve around them. If you are stressed out think about this person it will make you smile and feel so happy and proud that you have someone who loves you. I mean people want to love, everybody wants to be loved, and everybody wants someone that cares for them and someone they can run to when they have problems and to have a shoulder to cry on. It’s something that everybody needs don’t be fooled the world is a strange tough place but deep down inside we are all big babies and want to be held and loved. I pray that I will be able to find my queen. I know that my woman will be a queen and I will treat her like a queen, she will be everything to me!
What are you dreams for the future?
I want the whole world to know my name I want to be remembered for the things that actually matter to me. I feel that material things mean absolutely nothing and what we actually do take with us is what you have done to the world and how you treated your family. Everyone is born for a reason but you always need good people to guide you. Sometimes you really need to embrace the things that matter to you. For me my parents mean everything to me. My family and my fans, my life, my , my pride, my honor this is my structure of my being and I feel in order to succeed I need to maintain these things fully I’m building a castle and it’s one brick at a time and it’s simply just the beginning for me.
How come you named yourself Massari?
I chose the name because it’s Arabic and it was my chance to introduce something new. No R’n’B or almost no artist in North America who are from an Arabic origin have stated so or are interested to reveal this information. So I simply named myself Massari because I wanted to make sure that people to know I am an Arab and yet yes I am in the R’n’B business!
The name Massari is a catchy name and I intend to change the actual meaning of the word, as when people think money and that money is the base of the world I can teach otherwise. When I am gone I want people to remember the name Massari for love, understanding, compassion and forgiveness.