The new digital and social media to discover Arabia and the Middle East. Offbeat. Innovative.

Marwan Fagi, a Saudi tenor to follow

Marwan Fagi was the kick-off artist of the last Abu Dhabi festival edition. An event during which the Saudi tenor interpreted a song from the Lebanese poet Nada al Hage “Lost In You”.

Making bridges between Saudi and international music with his voice, this is the hope of Marwan Fagi, a young saudi tenor singer who kicked off the 18th edition of the festival organized by the Abu Dhabi Art and Music foundation last April.

Themed “The Future Starts Now” the event was opened with a virtual performance where the artist delivered a sensible interpretation of  “Ateehu Fika” (Lost in You), a composition based on a poem by Lebanese poet Nada El-Hage, with music arrangements by Saudi musician Rami Basahih. A show conducted and produced by the famous composer and Lebanese soprano Hiba Al-Kawas and by members of the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded between the Beirut National Museum, and Al-Tayebat International City of Science and Knowledge, an Islamic heritage museum in Jeddah.

Can you present yourself and tell us how you start singing?

My name is Marwan Fagi. I’m a singer and composer from KSA. I have a bachelor degree in media but I have been singing since I was 3 years old and I also play the “Oud”. My passion for music led me to learn from the Saudi musician Ghazi Ali, a Saudi musician of the 1960s who dealt with many Arab singers in Egypt, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia and acted as a godfather for me. Hetrained me to sing and refine the voice.

When did you meet success for the first time?

My career started when I did my first media appearance through the Arab Idol program in 2012. After that, the “Highness Media Production” produced 3 songs for me and in 2017, I received an invitation to participate in the “The Voice”, which gave a boost to my career. Since then, I produced a musical titled “waetool alkalam”, which was my own musical composition and lyrics with musical arrangements by the Saudi Rami Baseih. This musical performance took place in Budapest with 82 musicians and is now classified as the first Saudi Philharmonic song

You were chosen to kick off the Abu Dhabi art and music festival. How did you feel about that?

It is a huge step in my singing path as it is an international festival, so I was very thrilled and proud to see that they chose me as an appreciation and respect for my voice and my art.

Why did you choose to sing and interpret “Lost in You”, this poem from the Lebanese Nada al Hage? 

I chose this text because of its high poetic and spiritual depth. It talks about the soul and its sins and how we need the Lord at all times. It is also a song of hope.

What kind of emotions did you want to convey in your interpretation?

I believe that music has a great role in bonding people and not only entertainment. SoI hope that I will reach people through this song, and specifically my community.

How did it feel to be mentored and conducted by the famous Hiba Al Kawas composer and operatic soprano? What did she teach you?

Dr. Hiba Al-Kawas is a pioneer in the field of opera. I have known her since I was a child in the early 2000 and it was my dream to have a song written by her musicians. I learned a lot from her in singing techniques and operatic.  She still supports me in the Vocals.

What are your future projects and aspirations?

I hope to sing in international theaters and my voice to build bridges between Saudi and international music. I have projects right now that I’m working on, some epic and historical songs, the founding of a Saudi opera, and some theatrical works, in collaboration with Dr. Heba Al-Kawas

What were the first singers you listened to? 

I listen to all styles of music but I have a preference for classics. The first singer I listened to was the Saudi singer Talal Maddah and the Lebanese singer Fairouz, both of them gave me this love and passion for singing.