Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 15 October 2019

Five Lebanese singers that should duet with Elissa

After the pop queen called out for peer collaboration, we look at which singers might be the best fit

Lebanese singer Elissa wants her next album to be a collaborative effort. Photo by Jalal Morchidi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Lebanese singer Elissa wants her next album to be a collaborative effort. Photo by Jalal Morchidi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Could Elissa’s next album be a star-studded affair?

It could certainly could turn out that way after the singer took to social media to make an industry call-out for possible collaborations with peers.

“I wish to work with all the genuine artists in Lebanon and the Arab world, especially Marwan Khoury, but when there’s something official you will hear it from me or my team,” she posted on Twitter on September 17.

The post set Arabic social media alight with fans commenting to suggest various artists that they thought would make a killer collaboration. The tweet also fuels further anticipation regarding Elissa's next album. With a release date that's yet to be announced, the singer declared last month that the album would be her last due to her disillusionment with the regional music industry.

“I am preparing this new album with a lot of love and passion," the 46-year-old wrote on her Twitter account August 19. "The reason is that it will be the last one in my career." She went on to add that she "can't work in a field that is similar to a mafia", and that she "can't be productive any more".

With so much at stake – and if indeed Elissa’s statement is not a publicity stunt – then all future collaborators better bring their A-game when stepping into the studio. Here are a few suggestions on some fellow Lebanese artists that could duet with.

Marwan Khoury

As per her Twitter post, Elissa has her sights firmly set on Khoury. And who could blame her? As well as being a wonderful singer in his own right, Khoury is also a renowned composer.

He is familiar with Elissa's voice, having penned her 2007 hit Bitmoun. In addition to that, Khoury composed several other Arab radio staples over the past two decades, from the likes of Carol Samaha (Itla’ Fiyee) and Nawal Zoghby (Tia) to Majida Al Roumi (Ahibak Jiddan).

Najwa Karam

This would be a monumental collaboration. For nearly two decades these two pop queens have been figuratively at each other's throats.

While sometimes these hostilities are flamed by an energetic Lebanese press, both artists, at times, also engaged in subliminal attacks towards one another on social media. Both Elissa and Karam claim that there is no bad blood between them - could the proof be found in a musical pudding?

Wael Kfoury

This would be the most lavish ballad ever. With both Elissa and Kfoury renowned for their sensitive and romantic odes, songwriters and lyricists will have a field day in pairing them up.

However, any idea that Elissa would sing the role of a distressed lover (while Kfoury takes the role of the bad boy) won't happen. Elissa is too tough a woman to accept such pithy couplets.

Nawal Zoghby

Another artist that shares a testy relationship with Elissa, but there is enough good from both parties of late to make this happen.

On September 15, Zoghby told a Lebanese television show that all is well between the two and described their previous tension as "a misunderstanding'". With both singers commanding great voices and loyal fans, a duet would be a sure fire hit.

Assi El Hallani

This would be a study of contrasts. It will be intriguing to hear Elissa’s sensitive voice paired with the mountainous tenor of El Hallani.

Both artists come from different song fields as well. Elissa is more enamoured with modern pop sounds, while El Hallani is fond of thumping folk songs. If the duo are placed in the hands of a great producer and songwriter, magic will surely happen.

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Updated: September 20, 2019 09:41 AM

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