Lena Chamamyan: “In Damsco you genuinely feel that you are a Syrian”
Interview by Journalist Mousa Khijo – Damsco Media
The art never stands passive on the side block indifferent to the changes that affect the community, and touch the circumstances and the quality of life of the human individual.
Lena Chamamyan is an artist who is aware of her responsibility in bringing to light the critical issues and causes of her country.
In her new song “Yakhi Ana Souriyeh” Chamamyan demonstrated the trouble that some people go through in international airports just because they are nationals of certain countries, influenced by unfair prejudice and political conflict.
This is not the first song in which Chamamyan highlights humanitarian issues, but it is the first time her team decides to produce a video clip of the song, the scenes of which were shooted in four different cities: Damascus, Beirut, Istanbul, and Paris. This initiative also gathered the artist Lena Chamamyan with Damsco Events in a first collaborative project between them sponsored by Damsco. In the context of this collaboration, Damasco Media conducted a delightful interview with Lena Chamamyan.
There have been extensive talks about the theme of the song, but will Lena Chamamyan continue embracing such issues in her songs or this is going to remain a single initiative born as a result of your airport encounter?
“YakhiAna Souriyeh” is not the first song in which I convey an issue of this kind, I have two albums “Ghazl El Banat” and “Lawnan” in which I sang about the suffering of the refugees and the oppressed, compelled to entrust their trembling lives to the roaring sea to escape affliction and war. We see new issues such as this emerging in the world every day.
How did the audience react with this song? Initially, the first performance of the song was during the Tunisian summer concerts, and the reaction of the audience and the Tunisian media was awesome. Then came the tours in Europe and Canada with a wonderful reaction too. I realize that many people are touched by the song, because, it represents their situation as Palestinians, Iraqis, Libyans, Tunisians, and other Middle Eastern nationals.
This song is a bit different from your previous ones. Tell us about the technical challenges that an artist faces when adopting a new singing style.
Often, the crowds would like to trap the artist in a certain genre mould, and as soon as you try to escape this type, a heap of reactions onsets. Generally, I am not afraid of change; I even embrace it. “Yakhi Ana Souriyeh” is the first song in which I come this close to the folk genre, but, the musical style of my last two albums was much different from that of the previous ones: “Hal AsmarEllon” and “Shamat”. I will always try to rebel against myself and break the stereotypes imposed upon me either by myself or by others, at the same time, faithfully maintaining my standards in the music and the lyrics.
Do you entertain the idea of writing and composing again?
Sure, as long as I am inspired. I also like working with other writers and composers as long as their words and music are after my own heart.
What can you tell us about your first video clip experience? How will you describe it?
Different, beautiful, and exhausting. I am a stage person, and I love the stage extravagantly. I also studied acting during my opera studies, so, I did not feel a stranger in front of the camera. Probably, the working team also helped me feel comfortable. I like it when the video clip adds to the taste of the song. I also adore stories; that is why I decided to record a video clip that adds an element to the song performance.
How would you evaluate your collaboration with Damsco Events especially that it is the first one you undertake together? The most beautiful thing in working with Damsco is the warmth and friendliness they embrace you with which makes you feel at home. This feeling of passion and warmth is absent in the western world. In Damsco you genuinely feel that you are a Syrian. I also sensed gentle compassion and noble thought much different from what is common in production companies today. It is delightful to meet people who give heed to the quality, and are not only interested in the profit. I wish they will continue to develop and flourish venturing out to try new things that are authentic and different.
Do you have plans for other collaborative projects with Damsco Events in the near future?
I would much like that. Many projects resemble me and Damsco, representing depth, authenticity, distinction, and innovation, as well as attaining an intimate relationship with the audience and winning the heart of the masses.
What do you think about the role of the Syrian entrepreneurs in supporting the Syrian refugees? Is it possible for large investment companies to have an influential role in humanitarian issues?
We appreciate anyone who can help afflicted humanity and rescue the oppressed. Those of us who are more fortunate, need to help bring some justice to our cause, for which the public opinion remains ignorant. As artists and entrepreneurs, we need to raise public awareness and introduce to the world who we are, what we went through, what we have lost, and what we can give. Arts may convey this to the world, while, entrepreneurs may support such arts. Of course, they can also help Syrians by creating decent job opportunities, for most Syrians are looking for more than mere financial aid, they are looking for opportunities to thrive, create, and achieve.
Will the crowd of your GCC fans, specifically in the United Arab Emirates have an opportunity to attend your concert there in the near future?
I sincerely wish that. I am longing to meet them, and hope that a new collaboration with Damsco Events will regather me with the beloved in the Gulf and UAE.
Photography by Mahmoud Abu Ghalwa