Lebanese Idol

Lebanese singer Nelly Makdessy talks music, stardom and more with City Times

By Mohamad Kadry (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Thu 8 May 2008, 11:58 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:39 PM

You began singing in an Idol-esque competition called Kaass El Noujoum, how did winning change your life?

I began competing in Kaass El Noujoum (Cup of Stars). It was a musical competition broadcasted on LBC (Lebanese Broadcast Channel). The programme procedures were rapid and only one musical talent would win. I won three cups because I was chosen as the best, so the programme left me with many accreditations. It changed my life from a normal talented woman to a professional on the road, but really the programme did not change much in my life. After the competition I realised the value of my voice by singing at parties, concerts, and through all my travels. I didn’t expect to win, but I would not have been angry if I had lost. When I won I made the decision that I must continue with my career. Honestly, afterwards I made my own album and it taught me to trust in myself which made it easier to continue my path forward. I don’t think that my winning the competition made me continue. I think I might have continued pursuing music regardless. But winning allowed me to take my music more serious especially since it was an unexpected win. If I had lost, I might have continued my law studies.

How long have you been in the music industry?

Two after Kaass El Noujoum, I prepared for the album, so I have been in the industry for about seven years.

What are your musical aspirations?

Every artist puts a goal in front of them and tries to achieve this goal, but for me there is no definite goal. I don’t like claiming to have a target because once I reach it, then what? For this I think there is no exact goal to strive for. From my previous experiences I learn everything, and I wish to excel beyond what I am now.

Before winning the musical competition, you were studying law in Lebanon. Can you tell us about leaving your studies to become a singer?

I stopped my law studies because I couldn’t do it along with music. I don’t know what my plans are in the future, or if I will return to law studies. As an artist, it takes a lot of time preparing albums and singing in concerts and travelling, so all these responsibilities don’t allow me to organise my time between studying and being an artist. It is a heavy responsibility and studying law needs a lot of time which I don’t have right now. Because I love being an artist, I took the decision to choose music. Especially after winning and realising the value of my talent and the value of music as well. I wanted to be a lawyer because everyone in school told me I would be a great one. Although I knew nothing about the field, everyone recommended that I should do it. I chose law because I was told I had the personality of a lawyer.

Your face is on magazine covers and your music videos are all over TV screens. How do you deal with being famous?

I don’t allow being famous to affect my daily life especially because I love people. When I started I didn’t know the value of people, but now I know what the meaning of love, of being loved, of caring really is. I know it better now than before, so being famous and people knowing me didn’t at all affect my life negatively. On the contrary it made a positive impact on me because I get happy when I see people coming to me to say hello. Actually I would get mad if they didn’t approach me, even if they are people giving me personal opinions, whether positive or negative, about me.

What are you working on now?

I’m preparing to shoot a video clip for ‘Ya Nar Nari’, a single from my new album and there is a Khaleeji song on it as well. In about six weeks you will see my Khaleeji song’s music video on all TV channels. All my songs are released as singles on one album, which will be released very soon.

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