The talented Egyptian singer/songwriter Lara Scandar released her eagerly awaited debut album “About a girl” in Beirut last February to much commercial and critical success in Lebanon and the region. The 2009 star academy semi-finalist talks to BelleBeirut about her new album, career and fashion!
From where we stand, it is easy to say that Lara has music in her veins, it comes as no surprise that she was approached by award winning Lebanese producer Jean-Marie Riachi, who produced her first single “Mission Is You”, released on February 3, 2010.
1- Lara, how would you introduce herself to someone who doesn’t know you as a singer/musician?
I’m a 21-year-old girl, living a pretty normal life minus the music videos and performances. Like any other young girl I’m still living life- ups and downs, mistakes and achievements. Like any other girl, still trying to find my place in this big big world.
2- What characterizes your music?
My music’s 2 things: Fun and personal. I choose my songs according to how they make me feel and what message the lyrics portrays.
3- Who are your favorite artists, what are you currently listening to?
My all time favorites are Christina Aguilera and Beyonce. I also love Michael Buble! My love for those 3 artists is timeless. Currently, it’s been a mixture. From Nicki Minaj to Blake Shelton, Cher Lloyd to The Wanted, and of course Adele.
4- Would you say that your sound evolved and matured or simply changed since your participation in Star Academy?
My sound reflects on me, myself and my experiences. So, I would say that my sound has had the same base or core but in a sense evolves bit by bit every once in a while.
5- What are your plans for the future?
To live for the moment.
Questions “About a Girl”
1- In this exceptional album, you managed to fuse eastern and western music and sounds, which is a risky and very rare occurrence in this region’s music scene. One might even say the only artist that managed to pull off the same kind of music was legendary Egyptian singer Dalida; do you agree and will you continue to work on this style of music or do you plan to explore other types?
I know it was a risk to infuse both sounds into one album, let alone one track and that’s why I did it. I wanted to take the risk. You never know till you try. It’s an honor to be compared to Dalida whom I consider to be one of the most inspirational artists of all time! I’ve always said that I was experimenting with music, just like I do in life. That being said, I could explore other genres of music once I feel the timing’s right.
2- Surely all the songs on the album stand out, is there one that you personally prefer?
My Friend. It’s a song I wrote when I was 17. It’s a very personal song and the story’s sad and dark yet beautiful in its own way. It was the first song I had decided to put in the album yet the last song I recorded.
3- In “See the beauty” you sing “See the beauty in every surrounding fantasy”, do you think it is easy to see the beauty even in hard times of one’s life?
No, I don’t but that’s the beauty of it. It takes someone strong to be able to see the beauty in dark surroundings. I think once you’ve managed to do that, you’ve gone a long way.
4- Is there any special message you wanted to send through the amazing song: “Egypt (Coming home)”?
Yes. I’m glad you asked that. Firstly, the song isn’t political in any shape or form. It’s a love song. A love song to Egypt. The message is a positive one. One that’s telling everyone to “come back home” to Egypt. Not necessarily in the physical sense. As Egyptians, our hearts and efforts should come back home to Egypt, to help rebuild and help create a better Egypt.
In all honesty, not much at all. I have the same taste in clothes I had 3 years ago.
2- Who are your favorite Lebanese or Arab designers? International designers?
Zuhair Murad and Rabih Keyrouz. As for international designers, my all time favorite is Jay Ahr. I adore Barbara Bui, Versace, Helmut Lang, Balmain and Alaia.
3- Which current trends do you find close to your personal style and which are you currently wearing: color blocking, bold florals, contrasting patterns, polka dots, stripped, sheer, contrasting layers…?
The ones I can safely say I find close or relatable to my style in a sense are probably color blocking and sheer, although they’re both pretty different.
4- If you had a sudden call for a meeting and you had to run out of the door on a 5 minutes’ notice, what would be your instant elegance formula?
That’s happened before. It depends on the meeting but I usually would throw on a nice blazer on trousers (jeans even) and add a nice piece of jewelry and heels.