Tuesday February 27th, 2024
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Lebanon’s Talia Lahoud Says No to Situationships in Latest Single

Titled ‘El Khayar El Tani’, Lahoud taps into her signature folkloric pop style to send quite the message…

Ziyad El-Helbawy

Ladies, if you’re getting mixed signals, then that’s the only signal you need - and that’s exactly what Lebanese singer, songwriter, and regional TikTok sensation Talia Lahoud is preaching in her latest single, ‘El Khayar El Tani’.

Setting the tone for her upcoming debut EP co-produced with Egyptian/Lebanese producer Jamal Yassine, which will be released this April, Lahoud’s signature soundscape takes centre stage in ‘El Khayar El Tani’. The rising Lebanese pop-star tells a tale quite familiar to many - after all, aren’t situationships pretty much a rite of passage at this point?

A powerful track with a message to never settle for being someone’s second option, ‘El Khayar El Tani’ follows a fictional persona as she slowly untangles herself from a love triangle that had begun to take its toll on her. The woman scorned takes hold of her own narrative, and tells those who might just need to hear it: that to be a player means you might just lose the game, and oh how easily the tables could turn.

And while this specific subplot may not be rooted in Lahoud’s personal experience, the message deeply resonates regardless. “Honestly speaking, ‘El Khayar El Tani’ wasn’t necessarily about anyone specific,” Lahoud shares with SceneNoise. “I just knew I wanted to write lyrics that would empower women, and send a message that you should never settle for anything less than you deserve, and never let anybody treat you like an option.”

A convergence of both Eastern and Western genres and styles, El Khayar El Tani’s bridge starts off with traditional Arabic maqam melodies accompanied by the subtle strings of an oud, swiftly shifting gears into guitar-led acoustics reminiscent of early 2000s Arab pop for the pre-chorus, with the chorus going full-on modern day pop.

Famous for merging myriad influences, Lahoud finds her muse in a wide range of artists, including western pop artists like Sia, Billie Eilish, and Camila Cabello, as well as legendary Arabic artists such as Fairuz, Wadih El Safi, Melhem Barakat, and more contemporary singers like Nancy Ajram and Wael Kfoury.

"I feel like I've gotten my inspiration to write from all of these incredible musicians, becoming the artist that I am today, hence why I feel like the music that I'm creating sounds like no other, it's a combination of all the sounds that I love,” Lahoud says. “My love for folklore, Arabic melodies, Spanish classical rhythms, and pop music were all just poured into this song.”

Backed by the Nvak collective, the rising star will continue to experiment with new sounds that pay homage to her Arabic heritage, with several more singles set to make their way ahead of the EP release this spring.

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