Exclusive interview: Jadal's Mahmoud Radaideh talks girls, guitars and ketchup!
Mahmoud performing at a Jadal gig in Beirut. (Image: Tanya Traboulsi)
I arrived at Bargo’s Cafe in Amman where Jadal’s frontman and founder Mahmoud Radaideh and I sat down for drinks and a bite to eat… and an interview of course!
Jadal (Arabic for Controversy) is one of the first Arabic rock bands in the region. Since their formation in 2003, they’ve taken the Middle East by storm with hits like "Kol Ma Gool Al-Tobah" (Every time I repent) and “Bye Bye 3azizi” (Bye Bye my dear).
Their music is predominantly in Arabic with some English throwaways and classic touches here and there, à la 'ooh sexy lady' -- Gangnam Style.
A few ice breakers and one green tea later, Mahmoud and I smoothly delved into the interview Qs.
Are you single?
He seemed taken aback, then a laugh escaped his lips! I explained that yes, this really was the first Q on my list!
Smile ladies, he is single, but not really ready to mingle unless it’s with the right kinda gal.
Jadal have tens of thousands of fans, and thousands of those female admirers swoon over this charming rocker. But he’s only eyes for one type of woman in particular.
“I don’t really date as such. But I would want to be married to an independent woman on all levels. A passionate woman too,” he explained.
But I had to know one more important detail in that department - for all you ladies out there - was he really afraid of commitment like his song “I’m Afraid of Commitment” implied?
You knew this was coming, but are you really afraid of it?
“It doesn’t mean that I’m afraid of commitment with all girls, it just means that I was afraid of commitment with that one particular girl at that moment in time,” said Mahmoud, clearing up that misconception.
He may be able to live without a woman in his life for now, but I asked him about the three things he seriously can’t survive without?
“My guitar, a companion and my imagination,” he confidently said. I loved the imagination part.
Mahmoud had this serious persona about him, which made me wonder: how can this calm man come to life on stage?
What’s the most rock star thing you’ve ever done?
A mixture of disbelief and humbleness swept across his face before he said: “I made 3000 people jump.”
That didn’t surprise me much. Mahmoud isn’t your typical outrageous rock star; he’s quite the placid, down-to-earth type. But make no mistake, he has a cracking sense of humor!
The “Salma“ hitmaker told me that he loves quiet and somewhat isolated places, and hanging out with friends.
Speaking of his favourite things, we asked him to list his favourite:
Pizza: Thin Four Seasons with salami and garlic olive oil pizza!
Hangout spot: My studio!
Getaway destination: Sinai and Bethlehem.
Actors: Christian Bale, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Mark Wahlberg.
If you thought you knew everything about your idol by now, think again! Mahmoud hates the smell of ketchup. He hates it even more when it’s been sat on a plate for a long time!
“I’ve a very strong sense of smell. I can wake up by the slightest of smells, like perfume or cigarettes, even if I’ve fallen into a deep sleep,” he told me.
Bet you didn’t know that one!
We can’t imagine you doing anything but being a rock singer. What else would you be doing if you weren’t a musician?
“I’d sell flowers!” he cheekily remarked. And he was darn serious about it, too.
Now that only 3 out of the 12 chicken wrap pieces were left on our plates, it was time for my final Q.
What was the funniest or weirdest thing to ever happen to you on tour?
“We had a gig in Ramallah and got snowed in for a whole week! We couldn’t leave the hotel and it was so boring; we had absolutely nothing to do!”
You can learn more about Jadal and their upcoming tour dates by visiting their website http://jadalband.com/ or following them on:
Interviewed & written by Arwad Khalifeh
- Entertainment Editor for Al Bawaba
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