World-renowned Oudist, Ziyad Sahhab has music in his blood. Son of music critic Victor Sahhab and nephew of conductor Salim Sahhab, the artist studied philosophy at the Lycée Abdel Kader. There he met Rousseau and the romantic universe of Suskind before singing Sufi texts by great poets such as Ibn al Farid or El Hallaj. Between Bach or Mozart and Pink Floyd or Miles Davis, his heart swings… to the rhythm of an unparalleled musical creation.
With the Shahhadin ya baladna troupe, he met with success at the Shams Festival in Beirut before moving an audience that had become international, but above all loyal, especially during the French music festival in Cahors.
How was Geneva?
The experience in Geneva was one of the best experiences in my career on many levels. The organization of this event gave us all the elements to do a good concert. I remember how beautiful the Alhambra is, and the amazing feedback I got from an audience that did not understand the lyrics of my songs.
That may be because this country gave a lesson to the whole world in the fusion of different cultural backgrounds. I was really touched especially that I come from a country that suffered and still is suffering from its multiplicity when it comes to religion and ethnicity, instead of transforming this diversity into a source of richness.
Tell us about your latest live album released during the pandemic…
“Live at al Madina theater featuring Lamia Ghandour” is my latest live album recorded during the pandemic between lockdowns. The album consists of 17 tracks composed by me and written by many poets such as the Egyptian poet Mohammad Khair and many others. Lamia Ghandour is the co-singer with me. You can watch and listen to this album on my YouTube channel or just listen to it on all digital platforms such as Spotify, Deezer, iTunes…
On social networks, Ziyad Sahhab takes his oud and plays music for his followers (over 85K of followers). He puts down his smartphone, turns on the camera, pours himself a glass of wine, and only then, can we witness, even online, the special relationship between an artist and his instrument.
How important have become social networks for you?
Before the Covid 19 pandemic, I admit that I was careless about social media. I didn’t even have a YouTube channel. Being away from the stage forced me in a nice way to find new ways for me to interact with people in order to keep my sanity during these difficult times. In my latest Facebook live video, I sang a song that I composed during the pandemic, and it’s included in my new album. Written by Mohammad Khair, the lyrics spin around the element of fear and how bounding it could be to people, especially to artists.
Music is my first language. It’s much easier for me to communicate through music and to express my thoughts, my feelings, my pain. My instrument, the “Oud”, is by far my best friend. He’s always there if you need him, doesn’t talk unless you want him to, and is always willing to learn new languages with me.