'I Don't Listen to New Arabic Releases' Albawaba Exclusive Interview With Emirati Singer Saoud Abu Sultan

Published April 9th, 2019 - 09:20 GMT
Saoud Abu Sultan tells us everything in this AlBawaba exclusive interview (Source: saoudabusultan - Instagram)
Saoud Abu Sultan tells us everything in this AlBawaba exclusive interview (Source: saoudabusultan - Instagram)

Interview by Sohaib Al Hadid

Translation and foreword by Zaid Bawab

Saoud Abu Sultan is a name you could remember from 'Superstar' or Arab Idol's first season years ago, yet the Emirati singer who had remarkable hit songs in many dialects has certainly faced some struggles in the past couple of years that steered him away from the limelight. About his comeback, his workout routine and his piercings, Saoud tells us everything in this AlBawaba exclusive interview as he enjoys Jordanian food in Amman, Jordan. 

After some time away from the limelight what changed about Saoud?

I am older now with some white hairs that I might dye, I am more contained and calm now, I have always been a calm settled character but that increased and now my brain works more than my heart, and controls nearly everything about me.

Do you know that Since you were back to social media, your song “Ser Al Azab” increased nearly two million?

Where are those two million? I don’t know where they are. My youtube channel was moderated by someone that used to work with me and I tried to get login credentials from him but he said he does not know what they are either and he is the one benefiting from the channel, not me.

"Ser Al Azab" (2004)

Yet, this shows that people are waiting for your comeback, and even if we check listening rates on Anghami for the same song, it is nearly 1.2 million, what are you working on, Any new releases?

The latest song that I released was 8 years ago and it was an Iraqi song called “Momken Arjaalak” now we are working on a song with a Syrian crew and the Sham region’s dialect, Ali Hassoun is the one working on it and I am also working with composer and singer Basel Aziz on two songs, I am preparing multiple things and is considering having them shot as videos, one of them shall be shot in Dubai and the other in Spain initially.

Don’t you think it would be a good idea if one of the songs videos starts with one of Saoud’s older hits like “Ser Al Azab” as a flashback?

No, this is a phase that ended and I am working on something completely new, and many things changed about me, even the way I think changed, so ideation even changed and the way I work will be completely different. I don’t know what people will say or think yet hopefully they will be positively surprised as I am releasing what I really like and only doing what I want to do.

(Source: saoudabusultan - Instagram)

Did you decide yet who is directing the project?

Initially speaking, it is going to be Dr. Anwar Al Yasri, he is an Iraqi director that I consider a friend and a brother.

And are there any film projects since usually this is the kind of projects that a celebrity could get after a long break?

I am not Tom Cruise and I honestly don’t think I would want such a project, but if I felt like doing something I prepared well for it, yet, I don’t like to be all over the place, even if I get excited about an acting project sometime, I am not pro entering multiple fields.

(Source: saoudabusultan - Instagram)

And regarding your fitness, what is your routine, especially that it is obvious you have been into it since starting your Instagram account?

I have been spending 4 hours at the gym at least daily for nearly a year and a half now, yet when I came to Jordan my diet was messed up and I will get back to the diet that I got used to as soon as I am back especially that I can’t keep myself from eating the original Mansaf while being here.

Do you think with the new workout routine and since you are really interested in fitness now, you could enter the fitness modeling field or coach now?

I am 40 years old, so I could be a bit too old for modeling, yes age is just a number but I don’t think I would enter those fields, yet if I get an offer in that, I don’t know but I could take it, it all depends on the circumstances and my mood. Everything is possible, in a second the world can change, who knows maybe I could decide I want to be a fitness model or a coach once I get the six packs that I am aiming for.

(Source: saoudabusultan - Instagram)

You are currently in Jordan and we know that you and Jordanian singer Diana Karazon are on good terms, is there a duet between you two and have you seen each other yet?

I still did not see her until now and she is currently in Kuwait I believe, this is the only reason we still did not see each other. She comes to Dubai sometimes and calls me to find that I am out of town, but we are always in contact. I was thinking to talk to Diana about a duet project, but I know she gets busy with her work, I get busy with mine, but I certainly believe that a duet between us would be good and the duet would follow my mood and hers when it comes to being a romantic or a full of beats one. I certainly hope for a duet with her and she is one of the people I would like to collaborate with, she is a sister and a friend and one of the people that supported me most. It is nice to find someone who always checks on you and asks about you, and it is a nice thing that a person has you always in mind even with his/her busy schedule, and I like dealing with such people.

So your new projects include singles but not a full album?

Yes singles, I believe albums are dead now, the whole music scene has changed and it is not like before, in the past, we used to travel and go to many countries to record an album and you push on your nerves and eventually, it drops and one song from the album makes it and you end up fighting with the label and the rest of the album is left out, although you work hard on each song in the album. The whole music industry system has changed now, and it is mostly singles now, especially that a single would receive its share of attention better than an album and if you release all the singles you previously released in one album, it won't work.

"Yimken Arjaalek" Music Video (2013)

Any songs that have been released recently that you liked?

I haven’t been listening to new Arabic music for nearly two years, I listen to some songs randomly but I don’t play anything intentionally, I could pass by some songs that I like on the radio but there is nothing that got stuck in my mind recently. Yet I listen to older songs and music tracks that do not include vocals like Turkish as it is really relaxing. Some composers or song makers that approach me now tell me, I have a song for you that matches this style that is currently in, I reply by telling him that I have no idea what this style they are talking about is. I only care that the song appeals to me, I don’t know what is happening in the market if you tell me this is what is currently successful I would tell you I have no idea what the market has. This is a problem and it might be a flaw that I have.

Who will produce your new singles?

I am producing my new songs, and there is no company that would handle that as there are no production labels anymore that I know of and I don’t know what happened to the ones that were there. That said, if I got a good offer from a label or a production company I would not lie to you, I could take it but, generally speaking, I feel like producing on my own is better so that I can do what I want.

(Source: saoudabusultan - Instagram)

Any new interests that you can tell us about?

Away from work and new releases, I like to travel a lot recently although I am afraid of planes and I am finding that I am traveling nearly every month, and going from one country to another, I might get bored of it at some point but for now this is what is happening, this is what I am focused on in addition to sports and this is my priority currently and I am considering adding a third new piercing.

What happened when you did your first piercing?

My mom was like please don’t do it and I told her why it is not like I am doing anything wrong. I went back home with it as if nothing happened and she kept looking at me from afar and smiling.

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