Safwan Bahlawan: I sing Abdel Wahab’s songs in my own music vision

Published June 13th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

During his performance of a number of concerts at the Opera House, the Syrian musician and singer Safwan Bahlawan received a warm welcome which no other Arab artist has ever received in Cairo, the Arab art capital. 

“I have recently been invited by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture to perform a concert on the 101st birthday anniversary of the late Egyptian musician Mohammed Abdel Wahab on June 4. I sang at the concert a number of Abdel Wahab’s old and new songs but with new orchestra remake,” Bahlawan told the daily Teshreen. 

A number of Egyptian critics described Bahlawan as not imitating Abdel Wahab in singing but rather as having his own way of singing that he is distinguished with. “As a music composer, I sing for the immortal musician Mohammed Abdel Wahab from my perspective, I have my own vision. Many of those who attended my previous concerts in Cairo whether they were officials or musicians asserted that they came to listen to Safwan Bahlawan singing Abdel Wahab’s songs. Had the affair been otherwise, they could have listened to Abdel Wahab through a recorded cassette,” said Bahlawan. 

During his stay in Egypt, Bahlawan met with Egyptian musicians including the international maestro Ahmed al Saidi. “We shared a common vision to offer some of Abdel Wahab’s works in an orchestral, symphonic and harmonic style with a new remake and new vision,” added the Syrian musician and singer. 

In his most recent concerts in Cairo, Bahlawan was keen on singing a song for Palestine. He said, “this song revokes special sadness in me like it does to all other Arabs. I preferred to sing it during the time when our dear Palestine and its honorable people were resisting the arrogance of Sharon inside the occupied lands.” --  

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