Haifa Wehbe is the international songstress, style icon and international brand ambassador that you may not have heard of before today.
2015 is set to change all of that.
Haifa launched her first English music video “breathing you in” earlier this year choreographed by the one and only Casper Smart this also saw Haifa to be the first Lebanese artist to have her video premiere on the one and only music video network Vevo.
We sat down to chat with her talking about her plans for expanding into the international market starting with the United States later this year
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, for a person that has done so much in her career what motivated you to start this next chapter bringing your music to the rest of the world …?
Actually I feel that the world is getting smaller – in that technology, specifically social media, has allowed me to reach people from all over the world. I wanted to release English-language songs that allowed more fans to understand my unique point-of-view. As a Middle Eastern woman there is so much to say and music is the perfect vehicle for fans to understand my story, my narrative.
What people may not know is that you have been a brand ambassador for companies such as Pepsi, Cartier and Louis Vuitton representing their brands in the Middle East. Have experiences like these motivated you to expand your own personal brand further …?
Absolutely. Quite honestly it is an honor when major international corporations entrust you with their brands. When they feel that their messaging is in line with what I stand for and that by aligning with me they feel that they can reach (and speak to) their customers better. I am looking to grow my brand in the rest of the world organically. I am not trying to force any brand alignments but wanting them to come about authentically. For me the starting point is my music. I want to reach more people through my music first and then let any brand alignments naturally follow thereafter.
Your new music video “Breathing You In” has just passed seven million views on Vevo and we are sure this is only the beginning of its rise. How has the reception to its launch been received so far …?
I am very excited to introduce my latest music video to U.S. audiences who may not be familiar with my previously released music. I am so happy to see such a positive response to my music video. I am really proud of the production value of the music video – it was a multi-day shoot using a large crew. I wanted fans, old and new, to get drawn into the music video so we went “high concept.” Today’s Pop artists like Taylor Swift and Lady GaGa are really pushing the envelope regarding music video concepts. I wanted to make sure that my video delivered visual impact.
Working with a talented team on the video production, including Casper Smart, what was your inspiration for the video and how did this align with your inspiration for the single itself …?
I knew that I wanted to release an English-language song that had meaning – that reflected something deeper about how I live my life. The song is an anthem for how to manage day-to-day challenges; by breathing in and breathing out you can instantly find peace and create a permanent sense of calm. The lyrics reflect my personal philosophy about dealing with difficult times. Breathing, for me, is about finding my center; my balance.
We are excited for the release of your next two singles which are set to be “Habibi” featuring Ne-Yo and “Snake Charmer” featuring French Montana …. Can you give us a bit of insight into what we can expect from these singles ….?
It is not often that someone gets to live their dreams every day. I do not take this for granted at all. Working with Ne-Yo and French Montana has been a dream come true and I’m excited to share these singles with the world. But that’s all I can say about it because I want it to be a surprise when the tracks are released. I hope to inspire others to dream big and to shrug off any fears or insecurities that may be holding them back. For me its about taking risks – lots of them. I want to continue to push myself to do things that are outside of my comfort zone. To have such a strong response to my English-language song gives me the courage to keep pushing boundaries personally and professionally.
There are rumors of a U.S Tour later this year …. Can you tell us anything about this …?
And if so what can people expect from your shows..?
I have always envisioned that my music would be a gateway to international audiences better understanding my Lebanese culture; my Lebanese heritage. Anyone who sees my live performance can be sure to be excited about getting a glimpse into the best of Middle Eastern culture. I have key elements interwoven into the staging, dancing and song selection – it’s quite experiential.
What are three things about Haifa that most people don’t know?
Three things that people wouldn’t expect is that I love to cook, I have a large collection of “funny” socks and my guilty pleasure is reality television.