page : 12 | chapter : 6 | volume : 16


iftar with the sensational boy band: The5!

I was kindly invited to Almaz by Momo at The Beach – JBR) for an exquisite Iftar, co-hosted by non other than the Arab boy band The5, who I had the pleasure of interviewing.

I was greeted by their cheerful attitude upon requesting to sit with them for a chat, which made me feel like I was the one being interviewed. Apparently, they had been trying to guess my ethnicity and were very curious to find out where I’m from! Their answers were quite entertaining.

The talk was absolutely fun and enlightening; I got to learn more about The5 as one team and as individual members. Being a successful boy band in the Middle East, the team had signed on Sony Music Middle East after their little journey in the X Factor Arabia 2015.

First, tell me about the5; who are they and how did they get together?
Adil (the Big Brother) – “the5 met in The X Factor Arabia as separate groups. We were nominated to the final stage and the jury panel (Elissa, Raghab Alama and Donyya Ghanem ) decided to combine us into a team of 5. Since then, we released 3 singles, including: ‘El Donia Shabab’, ‘Bel Gharam’ and the Summer Cup soccer themed title ‘Heya Keda El Haya’.”

1. What’s the5’s personal tagline and why ?
“Elli jaya wa’er wa’er” (Moroccan Arabic) – which left me with an obviously confused expression. The phrase translates to “whatever is coming is even better”. Adil – “It was a spontaneous decision upon making it to the finals, and thus, we decided that the coming year will be greater. The phrase became a hit and was used in casual conversations, specifically in Algeria.”

2. If you had to pick a leader or representative among yourselves, who would it be and why?
Said – “It really depends on the situation. We don’t look at it as a matter of “who is the boss in our group?” but rather “who does best in a certain field?” We’re very cooperative like that.”
Ahmed – “we tend to sit together and make a collective agreement, that’s what makes the5.”

3. How did you feel when the panel decided to bring you together as one team?
Ahmed – “despite us each have a different opinion regarding our first encounter, we can agree that it felt a little strange in the beginning. Considering that we joined the competition as single identities, having to work with other members (of different backgrounds) all of a sudden felt a little unnerving. However, we trusted the panel’s long-term vision and went along with it. Thankfully, we make a great team and are happy with the decision.”

4. Describe the5 in 5 words.
Kazem – “I can give you our personal titles given to us by the jury members!” And they proceed to mention them:

Said: Mr. Beautiful Eyes, Kazem: Mr. Cute, Adil: Mr. Muscles (he doesn’t seem to like his), Ahmed: Mr. Best Smile and Mohamed: Mr. Personality.

Kazem – “But I understand what you meant by your question, we can be best described by being:

1. Passionate, 2. Talented, 3. Spontaneous, 4. Creative, 5. Fun-loving (a little on the crazy side).

5. My final question is, are the5 inspired by a certain style in terms of fashion/ music? It doesn’t have to be another boy band.

Mohamed – “Truth be told, we each have our own personal style and taste in things. Special thanks to our Stylist (and a shout out to him) Christian Kasha, by the way! He’s definitely one of the best in the Middle East. So, because of our different backgrounds, we tend to listen to different types of music (such as Mohamed being a rapper and Kazem preferring the traditional Lebanese music) and be influenced by personal preference.

Adil – “Apart from that, we had to distinguish our style from others through collaborative effort with different producers, both regionally and internationally. We were surprised by the way we were warmly greeted in Sweden (as a boy band). The producers there worked with The X Factor Australia and other teams in Korea who are responsible for the Korean boy band Super Junior. This helped inspire different styles into our music and general style. I believe there’s great variety in our upcoming album! So stay tuned for that.”

Fun fact: the5 teamed up with Clean & Clear’s Campaign #SeetheRealMe to encourage the youth in the Middle East to be comfortable in their own skin. Use the hashtag #Write4The5 as part of their July competition. Don’t forget to stay updated:

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* Note: This interview was translated from Arabic to English

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