The Singer Makes a Triumphant Return and Promises She Won’t Be Disappearing Again
by Nour Houda Bahlaq
Despite taking a long break from the spotlight to raise her son Elie, Pascal Mashalani has managed to maintain her celebrity status. Today, Pascal returns after two years with the release of her latest album, “hobbi mish hakki” (I don’t love with words). The new album includes 9 tracks which she collaborated on with the most prominent poets and composers from the Arab world including her husband the musician Melhem Abu Shadeed who composed most of the songs on the album.
In her interview with Majalla, Pascal reveals the reasons behind her disappearance and tells us all about her latest album.
Tell us first about the album?
Firstly, I am very happy about the success of the album. In a short space of time I tried to diversify the topics so that no one song is like the other in terms of theme, melody and composition. This requires a lot of effort and anyone who listens to the album will understand that, or rather people who have an appreciation for art will understand the effort that went into this album. Diversification is important to satisfy everyone. I even deleted 5 songs that were set to be released to avoid boring listeners so that they can enjoy the diversity. Today I feel lost because of the abundance of songs
offered to me.
You released a music video for the song “hobbi mish hakky” (I don’t love with words),” are you preparing to shoot a music video for any of the other songs on the album?
Of course, I will shoot a music video in about a month to give the first music video its time and also to see which song the audience will love more.
Why did you choose a Turkish director for the music video?
I liked his visuals. We were in contact with each other and we agreed on the first music video and we will work on the new video together.
Why were you absent for so long? Was this an intentional move to keep your audience asking about you?
(Laughs) … True, but this time I will not disappear again. At first there were circumstances but today they are over. It’s true that I have been absent for over two years but the album actually took two years of hard work to complete, but thankfully it became a great success in a short space of time.
What is your schedule this summer?
I have begun my return to festivals and I have concerts planned in Morocco and Sharm el- Sheikh in August, and festivals in Lebanon in October, as well as TV appearances on terrestrial and satellite channels, and of course I will choose the most appropriate.
What is your view of celebrities participating as judges on talent search shows and have you been offered a position on one of these shows?
It has not been offered to me but I like the idea because they bring the public
closer to their favorite star and get to show their true personality. The idea is very beautiful.
Which program would you prefer to participate in if you had the opportunity?
The Voice, of course. It is nice to hear a voice without seeing the person singing, you can focus on the voice and the sensations and then there is also a kind of challenge and this is something encouraging and enjoyable for the viewer. If I could go back in time, I would have chosen to participate in “Studio el Fan” of course.
What is your view of the abundance of singers in recent times, particularly as their standards are falling?
True, I don’t know if you noticed but I recently said that this phenomenon is due to singers like Melhem Zein and others producing their own albums while new emerging singers with beautiful voices no longer exist as they can’t find producers to partner with. Currently there are no production companies and singers are producing their own albums.
Does motherhood mean that you have less time to
dedicate to your artistry?
Motherhood means a lot to me. Praise be to God I have one child, If I had another I would of have retired and canceled several concerts because of my duties as a mother and this is wrong. I am by nature a homebody and I love family but I have a great artistic background and I have achieved a lot of success. If I didn’t have my mother by my side I would not have been able to complete the new album and pursue my career again. Even if I disappear, I make a strong return. I am a simple person and I do not want to deprive my son of me during his childhood and life is short. In the end, every artist has his own circumstances and artists are above all else human beings. I gave 20 years of my life to my art and it is my right to rest for several years.
What do you think of the many awards at the moment?
Many awards now have don’t have as much value as before. Artists used to be truly honored but today it has become a fashion for some. There are people who deserve prizes for their hard work but not in the same way as before. I have been offered some prizes but they no longer interest me.
Where do you see yourself on social networking sites?
I am happy with those sites because they bring me closer to the audience but I keep some privacy. I constantly follow everything related to my art and my work and I feel my presence amongst my audience.
Do you think about acting?
I like comedic and romantic roles a lot. I can play comedic roles and I am waiting for a role in a comedy film. I expect a lot of success.