Pop music never gets old. The current music industry is populated with an influx of boy bands. As they always have, the hysteria surrounding four to five well-dressed young guys with dazzling smiles, decent voices, a twinkle in their eye and amazing synergy is a deadly formula. Bound to send legions of young teenage girls into hysteria and sell hundreds and thousands (if not millions) of albums, boy bands aren't going anywhere. And neither are The5.
The Middle East's answer to One Direction, the Arab singing band made up of guys from Morocco, Algeria, Egypt and Lebanon already have two number 1 hit singles released, over 4 million followers online, a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards 'Best Arab Act' in the bag and a debut album on the way.
As the old story goes for many of today's successful pop bands, The5 were a product of a talent search. They are also the first Arab band to crowd-source the lyrics to their new single, #SeeTheRealMe.
Interestingly enough, what separates the boys from their many counterparts around the world is their interest in helping today's Arab youth to work on their talents and build their self-confidence. That's why earlier in June they launched a writing competition, calling out for talented young Arab girls. The writing camp saw them spend time with budding young singers and songwriters to work and strengthen their musical talents.
Through their music and interactions with fans, the boys want to bring the spotlight to the issue of building self-confidence and self-acceptance for this generation of Arab girls to the foreground. Not your typical boy band, are they? With a new single and debut album on the way, City Times managed to catch up with them and get their thoughts!
Adil: The new song is about self-confidence and celebrating your true self. You should not try to be someone else. You are perfect the way you are.
Ahmed: We are still working on our album. But I can tell you one thing, it's truly representative of our different backgrounds. We have a little bit of Moroccan, Algerian, Egyptian and Lebanese. It's a very interesting fusion.
Hosting a Writing Camp
Ahmed: It was amazing. It feels so good to be part of Clean & Clear's global initiative #SeeTheRealMe and to have the opportunity to represent it here in the Middle East.
Adil: We spent plenty of time with the winners, they are so talented. it blew our minds. We wrote lyrics together, jammed along to our favourite songs and went to the studio and ended up with a really cool song.
Why are you focused on helping the confidence of young girls?
Ahmed: This is a very important issue these days. We live in a world that is so focused on self-image where people should look a certain way. We just want to remind young girls that they do not need to change. They should stay who they are and never shy away from it. We also wanted young girls to have the confidence to pursue their dreams. All the girls that joined the writing camp had amazing vocals and it was amazing that they were given the chance to express their talents.
Ahmed: We work together as a team. We think of the overall interest of the group as opposed to personal interests. We are always open with each other and when we need to make a decision we sit with our manager and weigh the pros and cons. This way everyone is happy and we are certain that the decision we are taking will benefit the band.
Adil: Growing up, we've been listening to Cheb Khalid, Amr Diab and Fairouz. These days we like a little bit of Saad Lamjarred, Justin Bieber, Tamer Hosni and Zayn. We listen to everything basically.
Ahmed: Well, we have some really great things happening, we would like to keep it a surprise for now! So stay tuned.
Best part of being in a boy band
Adil: Learning from one another. I mean everyone is talented in their own way and this make us more creative when it comes to music.
Ahmed: We get a little bit nervous before a performance but once we are on stage and hear the fans cheering for us, it all goes away.
Adil: We enjoy singing to our fans. It's a very rewarding experience when you feel the energy of the crowd and especially when they start singing back.
Adil: Dubai feels like home. It's just good energy. We always love coming back!
By Maan Jalal
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