Soul sensation

On April 12th, get ready to be enchanted by the new voice of soul music. Jalen N’Gonda will perform at Gardenstate for this year’s third concert produced by Light Fm Productions in collaboration with Beirut Jam Sessions. We got to chat with the star on the rise about his life in Liverpool, songwriting, his sixties …

Meet 8 brilliant Lebanese

Meet 8 brilliant Lebanese

Congratulations to the 8 young Lebanese innovators, artists and entrepreneurs who made it in this year’s Forbes 30 under 30! You make us proud.
Meet here Nicolas Zaatar, Hussein Bazaza, Mark Chahwan, Jad Sayegh, Jawad Farès, Ray Dargham, Ève Tamraz Najjar and Élissa Freiha.

“Many in the list are scattered across the globe as they strive to prove their mettle in countries far from home. With such diverse areas of expertise, these innovators are transforming the rules of business.”

 

 

Animated music video

Check out the beautiful work of Beirut based motion design and animation studio, Tic Motion, set up by partners Pamela Farhat and Michel Doumit. A music video for the song “Flowers will rot” created, directed and produced along with Director/animator Pablo Lozano for Kuwaiti singer/songwriter Tamara Qaddoumi.

A trail runs through it

A trail runs through it

A unique trail that runs straight through the heart of the country. 470 km Lebanon Mountain Trail (LMT), which passes through more than 75 towns and villages, three protected nature reserves, two biosphere reserves, and one UNESCO world heritage site.
Read here about the LMT Association’s mission of protection and conservation and what challenges they face.

 

Lebanon shortlisted for the Oscars

Lebanon shortlisted for the Oscars

Ziad Doueiri’s “The Insult” reviewed in the New York Times.

“There is something undeniably exhilarating about the film’s honest assessment of the never-ending conflict between decency and cruelty that rages in every nation, neighborhood and heart.”

The movie has made it into the final nine films shortlisted for an Academy Award nomination in the foreign language category. A first in the history of Lebanese cinema. The five selected as nominees will be announced on Jan. 23. 2018

 

Kid Francescoli live in Beirut

Kid Francescoli live in Beirut

2018 is looking good! Light FM, one of Beirut’s prominent radio stations, has planned some great gigs this year in partnership with Beirut Jam Sessions.

The first concert will host Kid Francescoli, Marseille’s indie pop prodigy. In 2017, he was back with a collection of songs, a sequel to the album With Julia. Play Me Again is his latest musical creation and we are looking forward to welcoming his band here. They will be on stage at KED on Thursday, January 18th. More details here.

We got the chance to chat with Mathieu a.k.a Kid Francescoli about his name, his latest album, his influences and his European Tour.

BBS/ It seems you are a big fan of l’Olympique Marseille and your stage name is inspired by the famous player Enzo Francescoli, although he only spent one season in Marseille. What was so special about him?

KF/ Yes, he only spent one season here, which is quite short but enough for great players (like Didier Drogba) to become legends. Enzo Francescoli had a way of moving on the field and caressing the ball that was very graceful, almost like ballet. Something very artistic with a lot of style that no other player had (even though we had a lot of fantastic players at that time).

BBS/ This album [produced by Simon Henner and Mixed by Antoine Thibaudeau] varies in style and sounds. Some electro, RnB, spoken word, remixes, a reggae inspired track.. How did you manage to make it all come together as one coherent project?

KF/ It has to be coherent in your heart when you record it. I didn’t decide to mix all those styles, it was not a plan or a concept before going into the studio. It’s just the sum of all the music that I’ve listened to and, more importantly, that I’ve loved while doing it.

BBS/ You grew up in a city known for its rap and hip hop. Did that influence you in any way?

KF/ I learnt how to record an album in a professional studio thanks to hip-hop in Marseille (I was an intern at the time of La Fonky Family). It was my first experience inside this fantasy world. But most of all I was impressed by how hardworking they were. I always try to keep that in mind.

BBS/ These days most french bands choose to sing in English. You sing in both English and French on this album, even Julia (who is American) sings in French. Tell us more about this bilingual approach to your music?

KF/ I think it comes from the music you listen to and you love. I was obsessed by the U.S. when we made With Julia, then on stage we covered this French song called Pendant que les Champs brulent by Niagara and we loved doing it, so we decided to add some French in the next album. In my very first album there is a song in Italian as the singer I was working with at the time was Italian. So it’s not really bilingual, it’s more about the culture that surrounds you at that specific moment.

BBS/ You sometimes perform as a duo and sometimes as a trio with live drums. How is that different for you ?

KF/ In Beirut, we are coming as a trio with the drummer. I like both performing as a duo and as a trio, both options have something special and it’s fun in a different way on stage. The trio is more groovy while the duo is more electronic

BBS/ You’re going to be on Tour for a while across Europe, how did you prepare yourself for such an intense adventure?

KF/ I don’t really need to prepare myself, it’s more a case of “I can’t wait for this adventure”. Being on the road can be exhausting sometimes but it’s so much fun, it’s what I’ve always dreamt of since I was a kid. And I sincerely feel blessed to make a living from my music and to be touring so much.

BBS/ What was your funnest or craziest fan encounter if any or gig experience? any stories for the grandchildren?

KF/ Don’t know if I can tell this one to the grandchildren! But once after a show we had this couple telling us that the first time they had sex together was on our song Blow Up… and so they had sex again at the gig! We also had this huge fan of Julia’s in Rennes, he was in the front row and spent literally the entire show yelling her name « Julia ! Julia ! », over and over again…

 

 

Anthony Bourdain loves Beirut

Anthony Bourdain loves Beirut

“Everybody should come here. Everyone should see how complicated, how deeply troubled, and yet at the same time beautiful and awesome the world can be [..] In spite of everything, I love it here.”
Watch Anthony Bourdain’s videos from the field as he discovers Beirut, its food, its people.