Nagah Salam, the queen of Arabic singing, needs no introduction as she belongs to the golden era of Arab music. She comes from the era of blockbusters and classic films so she politely refused to be a part of the modern singing termed as 'dancing songs' by this legendary Egyptian singer.

By Nihal Kamel

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Published: Sun 16 May 2004, 1:29 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:57 AM

Excerpts from the interview:

How do you see the singing scene today?

It's become very fast and strange. All people want to do is sing without any parameters therefore it's difficult to distinguish between singing and screaming. They just want to sing and dance without paying serious attention to real singing.

So the young generation put you off by their very fast tunes?

I do enjoy the singing of some young singers but most of them don't stick to quality singing.

Who's your favourite singer from the new lot?

I love many trained singers like Waael Kafory, Latefa, Asala, and Angam'. Many of their songs are worth appreciating.

Do you think that the artistic atmosphere is not up to the mark and doesn't suit your style of singing?

Look, when we say 'Nagah Salam' to the Arabic music lovers we talk about precious artistic history, so how can you expect me to be a part of this strange and 'dancing songs' atmosphere. I just can't render a hot song but I don't mind waiting for sense to prevail. Remember, this is a passing trend. In the end of it all it's only the good songs that linger in the memory.

Earlier the artistic scene was full of many famous singers like Fayza Ahmed and Sabah. Now there are the likes of Layla Gofran and Samera Saed who are not Egyptians, so where are the Egyptian singers?

The most beautiful thing about Egypt is that the country embraces singers of all genres. By the way, the arts is said to have no boundaries and there are good singers from many Middle Eastern countries. Besides Egypt too have many good singers like Gada Ragab, Hani Shaker and Sherien Wagdy.

How do you differentiate between today's singers and singers from the past?

The singers in the past had to suffer a lot, as they had to overcome many hurdles on their way to success. Earlier it was very difficult to record and distribute songs. Now things are very easy. Anyone who knows to sing a little can make a hot song and dance video and if the luck is on his side, he/she can make it big in a couple of days time.

What is your advice for the young generation of singers?

The real artist is made and not born and things that come step by step lasts longer. Better to avoid shortcuts to success and concentrate on credibility and quality. These are more important than the quickly acquired fame and wealth.

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