Exclusive Interview: 14 Years After the Infamous Bathtub Video, Where Is Lebanese Armenian Starlet Maria Nalbandian Today?

Published July 9th, 2018 - 09:31 GMT
Maria doesn't have any current plans regarding her career as an artist (Source: maria_nalbandian - Instagram)
Maria doesn't have any current plans regarding her career as an artist (Source: maria_nalbandian - Instagram)

Written by Zaid Bawab

Maria Nalbandian or Miss Bikini Asia 2002 is a name that rose to stardom in late 2004. Her first music video for the hit song "Elaab," gave her a passport to the Arab world.

Yet, after releasing two Albums in Arabic in addition to successful singles, the Lebanese Armenian beauty focused on singing in the Armenian language and released an International Armenian album titled "A Dream" followed by multiple Armenian singles.

Afterwards however, Nalbandian seemed to steer away from the limelight and follow other business related projects. Weeks after we named Maria the number one "Bathtub Babe," we got the chance to chat with one of the most controversial names out there; we asked Maria about her dreams, her career, and her new endeavors.

(Source: maria_nalbandian - Instagram)

First of all let's start with your new brands "CharmingGifts" and "CharmingQueen", what can you tell us about them?

I have two brands #CharmingGifts and #CharmingQueen. Charming Gifts is an online boutique, it is all about luxury items, home accessories, unique gift items, fashion and accessories by Charming Queen. It is all exclusive and limited items.

You are known for your basic but emotive use of the Arabic Language. How are your Arabic language skills doing? Is it getting better or worse?

My Arabic Language is not perfect yet fans accept it and they like me the way I am. It even made me stand out and gave me a unique distinctive style and character. People who love me know that I am Armenian and that both my parents are Armenian.

 



I was born in Lebanon that is why I know how to speak Arabic. Arabic language means a lot to me and I learned it because I love it, it is beautiful and the Arab region has some of the most beautiful music in the world.

(Source: maria_nalbandian - Instagram)

What changed about Maria after 14 years of being in the limelight?

After 14 years I went through a lot of experiences and learned a lot. I still have the same soul, but what changed about me is the way I see life. I think my mind is more mature. I don't take decisions fast. Plus, I learned to be silent and listen more.

Where are you currently staying? Armenia or Lebanon?

I live between Lebanon and Armenia. And just like Armenia is my country, Lebanon is as well. I am as much Armenian as I am Arab, and I am proud to be born in the Middle East and that I speak and sing in Arabic.

(Source: maria_nalbandian - Instagram)

Do people still recognize you in the street in Lebanon and Egypt? And how do you feel when you meet people that still remember your music videos and bring them up?

They always recognize me in Lebanon and Egypt or any other Arab country that I travel to. It makes me really happy when I see that my hard work paid off and when I see love in the eyes of people who love me when they come and salute me. I like being close to people's hearts, I like the simple life, I wear casual clothes as being down to earth is key. I think it is one of the best qualities a person can have.

When we talk about your career we have to mention director Jad Shwery? Are you still in contact with him? How would you describe your relationship with him today?

Jad is my best friend and will always be. He helped me a lot in the making of my Armenian album "Mi Eraz" (A dream Vol.1). The album's cover artwork was his idea, and he also suggested that I shall be sleeping beauty on the cover as the album's title suggests. I asked for his opinion in many matters. He helped me a lot, and everything turned out the way I wanted it in the end.

Do you regret anything?

I regret trusting people that did not deserve my trust. I used to think differently but I trained myself to be more mature and to be careful of those who are close. Experience taught me to be more careful with myself, and to really open my eyes and not to trust anyone. 

(Source: maria_nalbandian - Instagram)

Any artistic projects that will be released soon?

Currently,  I am focusing on my business and I don't have any plans regarding my career as an artist. I believe in God's will and what is destined for me shall happen. I am living a secure, safe life and I believe everything will be for my own good in the end. Thank God for everything.

Does that mean that you are not releasing any new Arabic songs in the future?

I don't have any problem to sing in any language. Given that I was born in an Arab country and the fact that I am originally Armenian, this gives me the right to sing in Arabic or Armenian whenever I want to.


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