You might remember her onstage energy from Star Academy Arabia's 10th season.
Yet, Lebanese singer and dancer Lea Makhoul have come a long way since then and proved that it is not about winning the title but how you use every step along the way to evolve as an artist and entertainer but still stay true to yourself and enjoy the journey. Being the opening act for concerts of universal superstars like Jennifer Lopez and Camila Cabello seems to be only the beginning for this starlet whom we had the chance to interview and ask about her new releases, her dreams and her take on marriage.
'Ay Amor’ is your latest release, why did you choose Spanglish for the new single and what can you tell us about its video that will be released soon?
I didn’t really know my next single is going to be in Spanglish. That’s the beauty of music. The greatest songs ever written were written in 30 minutes without putting much thought into them. The more natural you are with the process, the more rewarding it is. As for the music video, I think the whole team did a great job in bringing my vision to life. I’d rather not give anything away just yet. Expect something you’ve never seen before!
(Source: leamakhoul - Instagram)
Which is your favorite release so far from your original songs?
Every song I work on holds a special place in my heart. I’m very proud of them all & always enjoy going back & listening to them.
You have opened up for Jennifer Lopez and Camila Cabello in their Dubai concerts, you obviously met Camila as we saw on your Instagram did you manage to meet J Lo? And would you say you are inspired by both artists?
Yes! I did meet Camila and it definitely was a great experience. Love how humble & down to earth she is. I've been following her work for several years; to get the chance to open up the show for her is just incredible.
As for JLO, unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to meet her, our schedule was conflicting while backstage & didn’t happen. Next time!
(Source: leamakhoul - Instagram)
You covered songs like Dua Lipa’s ‘New Rules’ and ‘A Star is Born’ soundtrack in Red Fest in Dubai, how do you choose your performances setlist?
The setlist all depends on the type of crowd & event I'm performing at. What makes a DJ / Artist great is knowing what to play & when. At the end of the day, it’s all about the fans & connecting with them in the right way. When I perform, I like to do a mix of both: my own original songs mixed with popular cover songs we all know & love.
You have signed with Universal music, does your deal include an album or will you continue to release singles every now and then?
At the moment, I’m dropping singles every 2/3 months. I like to give each song its time to let it resonate with the people. Fortunately, with the number of songs I & my team have been writing, who knows? Two albums might come out!
What would you call your first album?
I don’t know yet when the time comes & an album is ready I’ll decide.
Recently, you started playing the piano as well, How is that shaping up?
I always wanted to learn the piano. Beginning of this year I told myself that if any new opportunities/challenges come my way, I will go for them without hesitation. The piano was one of those things.
Looking back at your time in ‘Star Academy’ now, how would you rate your experience on the show? And are you still in contact with your colleagues from the show?
As I always say, Star Academy was one of the best life experiences I’ve ever had. I’ll give it a 20/10 for all the positivity it brought into my life, shaping my personality into the person I am today & opening doors that lead to meeting the most beautiful fans/supporters I could ever dream of. Yes, I’m still in contact with some of the candidates.
After “Ya Lobnan” are you planning to sing in Arabic again, and how are your Arabic language skills doing?
I never plan my songs nor the language I want to use. Its all about the feelings/vibe. Maybe I will sing another song in Arabic, maybe not. 'Ya Lebnan' inspired me as it was for my country.
My Arabic is OK. I mean, as long as I understand people and they understand me, we can communicate, that’s what counts for me. But I still don’t know how to read and write it.
How would you describe your music genre? And do you consider you found your identity as an artist, singer, and entertainer or not yet?
All I know is that I’d rather not be compared to any artist. I'm on a journey of finding myself & my sound. I always strive to be the best & most unique version of myself, that’s who I compete with every day. I could be singing slow emotional songs by a piano or giving you an explosive performance with dancers & choreography. There really isn’t any limits when it comes to music.
What is changing about you with age? And Are your dreams still the same?
My past & every road I took played a major role in who I am today. What changed for me with age is that now I am aware that everything I do will shape who I am in the future; that being said, I always am careful with what I consume & who I surround myself with. My passion for doing music is still the same. Fortunately, across the years, I’ve learned to approach everything with an open mind & never be afraid to try. Having done that, I have achieved a lot more than I expected & opened new doors that add lots of happiness to my life.
(Source: leamakhoul - Instagram)
Are there any plans to collaborate with other artists in a duet? And who are the artists that you wish to collaborate with?
I have some artists I would love to collaborate with (Local & nonlocal) I believe that whoever that artist is, the right time will come for us to collaborate.
You posted a video with Anthony Touma and it seemed like you were working on a collaboration, what can you tell us about that?
Yes, that’s true. I always wanted to work on a song with Anthony as I love his work and his humble personality. For me, being comfortable with an artist adds a lot of value to the creative process & me and Anthony are really good friends. I'm excited to share with you all that’s coming!
You have celebrated your brother’s marriage late last year, what is your take on marriage?
Everyone has his/her own perception of marriage. I personally fully support it as long as the two partners are committing out of true love & not doing it because everyone is doing it.
I think marriage is a beautiful thing when you find that special person you can grow and build a family with.
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