Maha: Let’s talk about “Rohi ya Rohi”, you chose it to be the single after “Enek Kadabeen”, let’s talk about why and how you chose that single.
Nawal: It’s not the first time I release a single. I preferred to release a single this time as my album will be a bit delayed due to the political situation in the Arab World. I feel it’s not the right time to release my new album and burn the work of one and a half years in such conditions, so I preferred to release a single, and “Rohi ya Rohi” had all the characteristics I wanted in terms of lyrics, composition and video clip. The most important thing in choosing a single is that it must have a lot of potential by being catchy. The video clip was my first time collaboration with director Tarek El Erian, who I chose to work with as I am very meticulous on everything that is presented to my audiences and fans. A video clip could either support or even damage a song if not done properly; gladly the feedback was very positive on the clip.
Maha: Let’s go back to talk about “Enek Kadabeen” the album, and the song “Be’enak” which was different. How important is the video clip to the song?
Nawal: The song “Be’enak” was one of the first songs in the album we shot a video clip for successfully directed by Nadine Labki. It was a great experience giving the audience a certain image and idea of a star, which is only human and is nervous before performing on stage. In “Rohi ya Rohi” I wanted to be different, more like the ‘girl next door’ with a casual everyday look.
Of course the video clip is important but not more than the song itself, the song is the base. The song can be successful without a video clip like “Enek Kadabeen”. The clip was released 2 month after the release of the song, which was by then already doing well.
Maha: You mentioned to me that you like to do bold things. Please elaborate on that.
Nawal: Bold but with limits of course, if I feel like doing something bold and people would not accept it I would not do it again, but if my audiences accept it I will continue. Usually, in any work I do I am always a little worried and thank God my worries are not always in place.
Maha: You were always dealing with the same director. Suddenly each video clip you do is with a different director what happened?
Nawal: Yes that’s right. We were working as a team, a very nice team, then I realized that we reached a point were there was no innovation, so I had to make a change. I still love them and respect them a lot and I can’t deny that we did a lot of nice work together.
Maha: Tell me about your experience with your songs in the Khaligi (Gulf area) dialect, you did one song right?
Nawal: I did more than one song and it was quite successful and taught me a lot. However I shot only one song it had a folkloric Gulf setting, wearing ‘Khaligi’ clothes, which I helped designing in terms of fabric and colors. On the new album is another ‘Khaligi’ song but I will keep it as a surprise.
Maha: With respect to your working with different directors, do you do the same with composers?
Nawal: Yes I work with a lot of new composers, like Moharem in “El Layaly” it was the first time for him to compose.
Maha: How do you manage between your work as an artist and your family and kids?
Nawal: I manage like any woman or wife and it is even a bit easier as an artist, compared to a women working in a bank, I see my children a lot more than she would. I tour only every 2 or 3 years, but I don’t take them with me, it would be much too hectic for them. They watch me on TV. I would love to do a children’s song sometime in the near future.
Maha: Do you sometimes worry about what’s happening in the Arabic music scene, do you worry when you are preparing for an album or video with what’s happening lately?
Nawal: Sure, because it should be very new and as you said nowadays there are a lot of artists and a lot of channels, and this for sure makes us worry, because we always want to present the best and newest.
Maha: Thank you very much for you hospitality and we wish you all the best for your new album and congratulations in advance.
Nawal: Thank you so much and I hope you will all like my new album and hopefully I will visit Egypt soon.
The Diva of Arab Pop
Nawal Georges El Zoghby was born on 29th of June (Star Sign: Cancer). She is the eldest among her three brothers and a sister. Nawal started her singing career after participating in Studio El Fan in 1988 and became a professional singer in 1991. Her hobbies are swimming, Tennis, reading, cooking and shopping. Nawal loves watching TV, Italian and Chinese food, and most of all her daughter Tia. Her favourite movie star is Omar El Sherif as well as Julia Roberts, Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez.
– Wehiaty Endak (1992)
– Aisa El Radd (1994)
– Balaeyh Fi Zamany (1995)
– Min Habibi Ana “Single Duett” (1995)
– Habet Ya Leyl (1997)
– Mandam Alek (1998)
– Malom (1999)
– Al Layali (2000)
– Toul Omri (2001)
– Elli Tmanetah
– Eyneik Kaddabin