Laura Allegrini, between Italy and Fairouz

This article is also available in: Italiano

We present Laura Allegrini, an Italian singer who has achieved incredible success in the Middle East thanks to her version of the Lebanese national anthem, rigorously sung in Arabic. A unique story that we really wanted to tell on the occasion of our week of the Arabic language.

K: How did you get to the Arabic language? Has music always been present in your path?

L: I want to clarify that Arabic is my 5th language after English, French, Spanish and Italian. I started studying it at a time when I needed to “feel stronger”; My music was also full and I felt I needed something “different”. I was immediately fascinated by the research of the French doctor Alfred Tomatis, according to his studies, in fact, the Italian generates a sound difference that goes from 2000 to 4000 Hz, Arabic instead includes a range of sounds ranging from 10 to 16,000 Hz.

Shortly afterwards I started taking Arabic lessons with an Algerian teacher who advised me to listen to Fairouz and Umm Kulthum, that’s where my journey started.

K: Who do you prefer between the two?

Fairouz and Umm Kulthum

L: I heard about Umm Kulthum before but at the time, since YouTube didn’t exist, it was much more difficult to get the pieces of these singers too. My musical reference is undoubtedly Fairouz because I find it more western than the Egyptian and therefore close to my world. Having said that, I have very deep respect for each of the two. Both cultivated very strong values such as love for their own people and for their homeland, as well as keeping the female flag high in a part of the world full of machismo. Having played a figure like Edith Piaf in the past gives me even more tools to better understand them.

K: Have you noticed any particular difficulties in singing in Arabic compared to doing it in other languages? Have you ever been intrigued by singing in other Arabic dialects?

L: I believe that every language has its difficulties, personally I wanted to concentrate on oral Arabic to facilitate listening. My initial goal was to pay homage to Fairouz and for this reason I wanted to concentrate my efforts on learning fuṣḥā, classical Arabic. I’d like to bring a perfect pronunciation and that’s why I decided to rely on a specific path to make the best of it.

K: What impact do you think the new social media have on Arab music?

laura allegrini
Laura Allegrini at the Lebanese embassy in Rome

L: Honestly I have to thank YouTube that it was able to open up a musical universe that until then seemed unthinkable to me. Thanks to the videos of the platform I was able to discover first and to be discovered, then, to the Arab public. Right here in fact I was noticed for the first time in Lebanon with my version of their national anthem. Thanks to the comments I then really understood the value and importance of Fairuz, a Christian woman who can unite the whole Middle East thanks to her music.

K: Tell us a little about your piece that came out just yesterday: “3ayyed il Leyl”, or our “Astro del ciel” whose original version, “STILLE NACHT”, celebrates its bicentennial just this year

L: It is a project that I would have so much to bring last year but I lacked the technical time, this year we got activated earlier and we can say we are very proud of the result. The particular thing is that 2 productions have proposed us to sing also in Italian, our language there is still very appreciated and I hope that its presence can strengthen the proximity between these two magnificent countries. I must say, however, that I was really lucky to turn to the right people, unfortunately this is not always the case.

Thanks again to Laura Allegrini for the magnificent interview, we are very proud to have met such a good Italian singer who is so fond of Arab music and its legends. Here you will find links to its pages Facebook. Follow us on our facebook page, Spotify, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, or on our Telegram channel. Any like, sharing or support is welcome and helps us to dedicate ourselves more and more to our passion: telling the Middle East ..


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