Throwback Thursdays: 40 years since Abdel Halim Hafez’s passing

Abdel Halim Hafez was a legend in the Classic Arabic music scene. He was also a fantastic actor. He was known for his roles in musical films such as Lahn El Wafa’ (The Music of Loyalty), Ayyamna al-Helwa (Our Beautiful Days), Banat El Yom (The Girls of Today), Share’ El Hob (The Street of Love).

The songs Abdel Halim sang in his movies combine classic Arabic music with Pop music. However when he performed in concerts, it was purely the Classical Arabic music. They always included an incredible group of the world’s best musicians. Abdel Halim Hafez’s concerts were spectacular from what I’ve read about him. His final song, which he performed before his passing was Qari’at Al Fingan (The coffee fortune-teller). The lyrics were from a poem written by the late Nizar Qabbani, a famous Syrian poet. Abdel Halim Hafez died so young, at the age of 47, from Bilharzia, a waterborne illness on March 30, 1977. He was the first Romantic singer in the world of Arabic music; he was a pioneer.Ahafez

He was the first Arab singer whose music interested me very much. It was after seeing the movie Share’ El Hob (The Street of Love) which co-starred the late singer Sabah. When I heard the songs he sang for this movie, I fell in love with his music immediately. His music interested me before any of the contemporary Arab artists. It’s always exciting for me to watch his films or videos of his concerts, because I get to hear the most incredible music in the history of Middle Eastern music. His films always including songs, which complemented the story of the movie very well.

He knew how to play a variety of instruments, including the following: oboe, drums, piano, oud, clarinet and guitar.

It’s hard to pick favourites, because there are so many incredible songs to choose from. They include Ahwak (Loving you), Ala Ad El Sho’ (As much as the longing), Betlomooni Leih (Why do you blame me), Gana El Hawa (The mood struck us), Sawwah (Wanderer), Tobah (repentance or never again)*

On a side note:
Abdel Halim Hafez’s real name is Abdel Halim Ali Shabana. In 1953, he was heard by Hafez Abdel Wahab, a supervisor of musical programming for and Egyptian national radio. He used ‘Hafez’ for his professional last name, as a way to honour Hafez Abdel Wahab, whose patronage helped Abdel Halim achieve success.

* Translation is based on my understanding of the song.

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Maxime Malevé’s Latest Single Frontline- A Song That Stands Out!

Maxime Malevé has released another single entitled Frontline. It’s a song that I understood better after listening to it again and again. It’s another good song of his.

It talks about identity and accepting oneself. I can relate to this because I feel like I stand out in my family and in my way of thinking. I learned to accept myself as I am. This feeling of running around is more common than one realises, which is the case in Frontline. However, it’s a song of hope after accepting oneself. The music compliments the song very well. Maxime Malevé’s voice is rhythmic and smooth.

I look forward to hearing his album. Maxime Malevé has a future in music. I wish him success in his career as a singer/songwriter.

Ed Sheeran’s Latest Album Divide: A Union of Different Styles

Country:United Kingdom
Musical genre(s): Pop rock, folk pop, acoustic
Experience: 2004-present

Ed Sheeran’s latest album is fantastic!! I love the mix of different musical styles. The personal stories Sheeran tells give the album a feeling that we know the person behind the music. I divide this album into four components, which are the following: personal stories, romantic, dance, and heartbreak.

The personal stories component are the following songs: Eraser, Castle on The Hill, Nancy Mulligan, What Do I know?, and Save Myself.  Eraser and Castle on The Hill  make references to his childhood and teenage years. Castle on The Hill is also romantic song, with personal touch to it. My favourite personal story is Nancy Mulligan that tells the story of how his paternal grandparents got married, and their struggles to get there. I love Irish folk music, which is a nice homage to Sheeran’s Irish roots. It has so much charm. What Do I know?   and Save Myself  are songs that are about soul-searching

The romantic is a significant component of the Divide album. The romantic songs are the following: Shape of You, Perfect, Galway Girl, Hearts Don’t Break Around Here, How Would You Feel (Paean). Shape of You, one of Ed Sheeran’s recent singles is incredible. The melody has a perfect rhythm. His voice is smooth and consistent with the music. Perfect is an ideal ballad for a slow dance with your significant other, especially for a wedding. 😉 Galway Girl is a fun song with a catchy beat. There’s a lot of detail in this song, which makes this more than just a song, but a story. I liked the rap part of the song. Hearts Don’t Break Around Here and How Would You Feel (Paean) are also ballads that can be ideal for a wedding. His love songs are, as always, beautiful and touching.

The heartbreak component consists of the three following songs: Dive, Supermarket Flowers, Happier, New Man. Dive is a song that I find interesting because he’s talking about a possible heartbreak and telling the girl to not contact him, unless she really loves him. Supermarket Flowers is sad and deep. It’s about a loss of loved one. It got to me. However, I don’t know the details of this story. Happier is about how the girl he loved moves on with another. He also realises the mistakes he’d made that cost him the relationship. It’s never easy to admit. New Man is a contrast to Happier in terms of the beat and the tone of song. He sounds critical of his ex’s new man. I found it humorous at times, even though it’s a song about heartbreak. His heartbreak songs are well done.

The dance component has two songs: Barcelona and Bibia Be Ye Ye. Barcelona is a song I enjoyed as it brought back memories of my trip to Spain in 2009, even if I didn’t travel to Barcelona at the time. It has a summer feel to it. I hope it becomes a summer single. *fingers crossed* 😉 Bibia Be Ye Ye also has a summer feel to it.

It’s a very dynamic album, and I recommend you get it on iTunes or the CD. Regardless the album Divide is an epic album.

My favourite songs are  Shape of You, Castle on The Hill, Perfect,Nancy Mulligan, Galway Girl, Hearts Don’t Break Around Here, How Would You Feel (Paean), Barcelona,and Dive.

 

Acoustic performance released on February 17, 2017, on his birthday 🙂