You might know the small Lebanese town of Adonis, a small scenic area in the Mount Lebanon region. You might also know Adonis as a group of guys from AUB who got together and started jamming one day (similar to Mashrou' Leila, but hey, the guys say they have no beef). Since realizing they had some talent, drive, and a natural flow, they banded together and formed what is now one of the most well-known Lebanese and Arabic-language pop bands on the scene.

Their sound has evolved over time — whereas previously there was a bigger focus on the lyrics, their sound is a little bolder now. They still show an appreciation for the written word, but the production is where it differs — new technology provides a more poppy and full sound. The latest single, Eza Shi Nhar, on their third album, is a good example of this, with an uptempo beat that gives you something to both dance and sing to.

Check out the new single and an interview with the band below:



How did you come together and start playing?
As architecture students at AUB, Joey (guitarist) and myself used to get together and jam, until we started writing our own material, and eventually my brother (Fabio, bassist) and his friend (Nicola, drums) joined. When we realized we are starting to sound decent together we ‘sealed the deal’ and formed the band.

Who are your musical inspirations?
Personally I look up to Rufus Wainwright as the ultimate singer/songwriter of our time. I’m also drawn to good arabic music, no matter the genre. Um Kalsoum is always a reference. As for the guys, each carries a different musical baggage. Joey is a hardcore ‘Dylanist’, Fabio is a fan of progressive rock, and Nicola is our radiopedia, keeping the rest of us enlightened on what’s ‘in’ and ‘out’ in the industry.



What would you say if you had to describe your sound? 
We wouldn’t say anything, we would just play you a song! We’ve always described our music as ‘Arabic pop’. Ever since, we’ve been experimenting and playing around to try and find out just what that is. 

What has been your biggest struggle as a band?
In the first couple of years, it was definitely to keep it all together. We’re at that age when everyone is graduating and traveling abroad for masters and/or work opportunities, so we lost a couple of members in those circumstances, and had to ‘recruit’ and start over with new musicians, at a time when we were already established. Now that we’ve settled on a more or less ‘definitive’ formation, we face different challenges- mainly how to make music for a wider audience without compromising our identity.




What has been your most rewarding experience playing music so far? Any personal anecdotes?
Definitely touring. There’s something magical that happens on stage when you’re facing a new audience, in a country you’ve never been to, and realize that hundreds of people are singing the songs along word by word.

Can you tell me a little bit about the making of this album? What is different about it from previous work you’ve done?
Our upcoming album has taken much more time producing than the previous ones. Two years-and-a-half in the making! I’ve been told it’s a classic third album symptom — when your first release is a hit, the second one is a rushed attempt to keep up with the success of the previous one, you just have to take a step back after that, and really craft the third one note by note. Luckily, we’re doing that with one of the biggest producers in the Arab world. As a result of our collaboration with Jean-Marie Riachi, the work is more consistent and we’re definitely more involved as individuals.




Your new single Eza Shi Nhar has a very energetic feel and has a different sound and beat from your past tracks — how has your sound evolved and why?
We’re trying something different this time, taking advantage of the state-of-the-art resources and technologies at hand. Of course, as you’ll hear on the album, the essence of our music is always there. The lyrics, the oriental beats, Joey’s dreamy guitar riffs, etc…personally I think our songwriting has significantly matured, and, in parallel, we’re having more fun with production, flirting with electronic pads, vocoders, synthesizers, etc… and we can’t wait to take it all to the stage!

What is your favorite song to perform?
Each track conveys a different emotion and brings out a particular pleasure while performing it. If I personally had to chose, I would say ‘Stouh Adonis’. As our biggest hit so far, it is the obviously the song that the audience interacts with the most, and it’s always a blast to reciprocate their energy on stage!

Tell me something about you that is true but controversial/surprising.
We like Mashrou’ Leila.

Pick one word that best describes each of you.
I’m (Anthony) just gonna do that for the guys:
Joey - hardcore
Nicola - heart-throb
Fabio - mastermind

How have you seen the Lebanese music scene change in the past few years?
It’s growing beautifully and there’s no stopping it! It’s a true blessing to be part of such an active and dynamic scene.

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