Egyptian-Italian pop princess, Lara Scandar, is set to make history, so to speak, by performing the Middle East’s very first online digital concert. This is no two-bit webcam-job, though; peculiarly, the gig will be interactive, with fans and viewers able to clap virtually, request songs, cheer and message her – mental.
We sat down with the former Star Academy contestant ahead of the gig to talk about music, duets and food.
-Hi Lara. You’re hair looks really nice. Let’s start off with a super-pretentious question – how would you describe your approach to music?
Ummm, thanks. Well, my approach to music differs. I’ve always said that I like experimenting with my music, so the second album will definitely be a different vibe than my first album.
-Nice. So, what’s the thinking behind a ‘digital concert’?
I wanted to do this digital concert for so many reasons. Firstly, I simply loved the idea. Everything is online these days and it's been done abroad before so I thought "Why not introduce it here?" I've also been getting requests from fans across the region to hold concerts, but with the current, unfortunate situation around us, it's not as easy to go to all these countries so this was the perfect opportunity.
-That makes sense. But as a singer, performing to a live crowd must be exhilarating – will you miss that with the digital concert?
One of my favorite parts of this job is performing for a crowd, so this will definitely be a challenge! But this concert is something I know my fans have been waiting for and that's what gives me that ongoing positive energy to perform just as well.
-You’re set to debut your new single at this Sunday’s gig – what can fans expect?
Fans have already seen and heard a snippet of the song so I think it's safe to say they understand the vibe of the song. What I can say about it is that it's definitely different than my previous songs. It's still pop, but it's a rawer sound, in a sense.
-Mmm, raw is good. What music are you listening to these days?
Country music. I love everything about country music! Always have.
-Yeah, I feel you - I love a bit of Dolly Parton in the morning. What about musical guilty pleasures? I don’t admit this to many people, but I listen to that Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle song daily, even though it’s the worst thing ever made.
I have one hell of a guilty pleasure- sha3by music. I have some of the most random sha3by songs memorised.
-Wow, I wasn't expecting that. A lot of Egyptian mainstream music is, let’s say, ‘odd’ at the best of times – is there anyone that you particularly like?
I definitely think there's a less "odd" type of music here in Egypt but unfortunately, they're not as popular as they should be because it's not mainstream. On a mainstream level, I personally love Sherine's voice.
-Yeah, her voice is nice - shame about everything else. Anyway, if you could duet with one artist in the world, who would it be?
Hands down, Michael Bublé!
-Controversial question. You’re half-Italian, half-Egyptian – which country has the better food?
That is one tough question! I love both but I'd have to say I'm picking my Lebanese side. Lebanese home cooked meals any day! But Egyptian molokheya beats the Lebanese one for sure.
-Yeah, the Lebanese just get it when it comes to food. Finally, what does 2015 hold for Lara Scandar?
I'm releasing my second album early 2015 which will be an acoustic album and is almost ready. I honestly can't wait!
Neither can we Lara, neither can we. Click here at 8PM sharp on Sunday 14th and watch Lara in action.