Fivers, don't faint! The X Factor boys on making history, and their first single

Published September 17th, 2015 - 11:00 GMT

They may not have won the X Factor, but they still won the hearts of many fans.

The 5, the boy band finalists of MBC’s The X Factor have released their new single 'El Donia Shabab'. The upbeat dance-pop song was recorded in Beirut with hit-master producer Michel Fadel.

The band, hailed as the Arab One Direction, lost out on the MBC talent show crown to Saudi Arabia’s Hamza Hawsawi. But coming in second place didn't hurt One Direction's opportunities, and The 5 nevertheless became an internet sensation and groupies began calling themselves 'The Fivers'.

Comprised of Ahmad (Egypt), Said (Algeria), Adil (Morocco), Mohammad (Algeria) and Kazem (Lebanon), the band was signed by Sony Music Middle East, and 'El Donia Shabab' broke the record for first day streams of a debut Arabic single on music platform Anghami.

“It was a new style for us,” says 19-year-old Algerian heartthrob Said Karmouz, told The National a day after the song’s release. “It’s kind of a mix of Arabian music and international music.”

“It’s very youthful, very vibrant,” said Lebanese bandmate Kazem Chamas, also 19.

“I feel it really reflects who we are.” admits Egyptian singer Ahmed Hassan. “In the Middle East a lot of singers have been in all these programmes — X-Factor, The Voice, Star Academy, Arab Idol, Arabs Got Talent — and after they finish, no one knows them, they disappear. I was so nervous I didn’t sleep for two days.”

The boys are travelling around the UAE, where they are based for now, promoting their single. “It’s the place in the Arab world to be right now,” says Hassan told The National.

“It’s the most safe — I’m from Egypt and the situation in Egypt right now isn’t very safe.” “Dubai is fabulous,” adds Karmouz. “I’d love to live here — but not in this weather.”

“We’d love to have our first concert here,” beamed Karmouz.

With their good looks, it's only natural that they have amassed a legion of adoring female fans, who of course want to know if they are single!

“The answer they want to hear is yes,” says the group’s 21-year-old rapper, Mohamed Bouhezza, coyly. “Girls are jealous — it’s complicated. You can say I’m single,” adds the 21-year-old Algerian, who goes by the stage-name BMD.

With its members drawn from four different nations, they are acutely aware that they are making history, and they hope their wide appeal could cross over to a global audience.

“We’re just at the beginning, but there’s no other band before from different countries like us,” adds Karmouz, “so this is something new for the world.”

“I see big stages, tours, a lot of songs, I expect a lot of things for The 5,” said Bouhezza. “I don’t want to only be famous in the Arab world. I want to perform in huge stages in America and Europe — we have the chance.”

“One year from now we’re going to have gone further than the Arab world, we’re going to crossover internationally,” adds Chamas.

“You like my confidence, right?”

El Donia Shabab is available to stream and download worldwide across all digital platforms. The video was shot by Los Angeles-based director David Zennie, and will premiere on the band’s official Facebook and VEVO channel later this month.


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