«I like to live the songs»
Tania Saleh, songwriter and performer. © Archives Tania Saleh
Which music influences you? My performance is independent of any artistic influence, I work freely. I am one of the few Arab women to be both author and composer and I am proud, because it allows me to express myself honestly, talking about our society as a woman, and not having to perform songs written by men for women.
Give us an overview of your career … I am currently trying to find funds to continue to write and perform my songs, while working to safeguard our identity and to make the Lebanese song evolve internationally. Big names like Fayrouz, Sabah and Wadih el Safi made the Lebanese song immortal, and I would like to continue on this path. Lebanon is very dear to my heart and I want to idolize it, interpreting real and emotional songs of our daily lives and not superficial love songs and not credible.
What characterizes your performance? I love being on the stage, where I feel free and strong. I like living the songs and not recite them, and take part in the game. Every song has a story.
Would you like to perform solo or in groups? I like to sing solo, but I also like meeting people. In a festival, the time is right to meet and talk with artists close to my heart. We must not forget our identity and embark in an adventure that is not like us. Last year, I was the guest of Ibrahim Maalouf in Byblos and I sang with him and his band «La Javanaise» in French. The experience was very nice especially since it was the first time I sang in French. In Norway too, I played one of my songs live with Anneli Drecker and a group of Norwegian musicians. In 2006, I collaborated with Rayess Bek, Nile Rodgers, Charlotte Caffey and RZA in the United States, and others.
What do you think of the song in Lebanon? The songs of «mainstream» do not interest me. I feel that this is the same song repeated over thirty years. I love the music of Lebanese groups trying to produce a new sound, like Ziad Rahbani, Toufic Farroukh, Ibrahim Maalouf, Yasmine Hamdan, Mashrouh Leila, Hanin Y Son Cubano, The Chéhadé Brothers, Oumeima El Khalil, Charbel Rouhana …
What are your future projects? I contribute to my third music video with a song from my new album, «Shwayit Souwar». Produced by Les Folies Designhaus in Dubai, the clip is directed by an artist friend, Obeida Sidani. I am currently preparing a tribute song to Baalbeck produced by the Festival of Baalbeck, and another in collaboration with a German artist. Similarly, two other songs from my new album will be remixed by a Brazilian DJ. I also have to start writing my fifth album.
For more information: www.taniasaleh.com
email: [email protected]