Everything You Need To Know About Nabil Harfouch: The Newest Lebanese Singing Sensation

You’ve seen the billboards all over the highway. They sort of came out of nowhere, didn’t they? The latest pop sensation to overtake the country, if you don’t account for Sejaan Azzi’s dismissal from the Kataeb party, is an 80’s influenced, mustache-heavy man who’s throwing it back to the when the overbearing Lebanese father figure was in.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m talking about the one and only Nabil Harfouch, whose “albo” is making every other “alb” in this country swoon.

Nabil harfouch

Never mind the fact that, according to twitter user @TawaNicolas, the song might be remixed to the following once they break up:

Nabil Harfouch 2

No, we are facing a serious work of art the likes of which the Lebanese republic has not witnessed since Fairuz released “Kifak Enta” back when songs had a purpose.

Please note the Cross on Nabil Harfouch’s wrist. This is a pious man, whose religiosity plays a very big reason in him becoming so “in” right now. After all, who dares not buy this man’s singles when Jesus is on his side?

In fact, Nabil Harfouch’s religion could be the exact reason why he is all over our highways today. But before we delve into the juicy details of Harfouch’s past, ones that rival Haifa Wehbe’s Hezbollah affiliated days, let us rewind.

A few years ago, Nabil Harfouch was just another middle-aged man who woke up one day and remembered he had a dream. You see, Martin Luther King had a dream, but so did Nabil. So he released a song in his attempt to become the next Ragheb Alama.

That song, titled “Touwsayeh,” was Nabil Harfouch’s combination of his two biggest passions in life: Women and God. In the song, he claims that God ordered his love interest specifically made for him. The magnum opus can be listened to below:

Almost 4 years later, and only 1200 hits on YouTube later, it’s safe to say the song did not take off. At all. So Mr. Harfouch realized that the best way to make it big in the showbiz business was to have lots of money and spend it on branding.

But where does a helpless hopeless pious man like Mr. Harfouch get all the money? Lightbulb! Religion, of course.

As reported by Rima Karaki last year (link), and as has surfaced on Facebook, Mr. Harfouch, along with his futuristic and pioneering lyricist Naji Sfeir, created a charity that they named after St. Rita which, for years, took money out of religious people’s pockets for a variety of religious reasons, such as investments and projects for Mr. Harfouch and Mr. Sfeir. The Maronite Church eventually caught up and closed down the charity, but not before the duo had made millions, reportedly.

So what does a Lebanese nouveau riche do? Buy yachts? Iftar at the Four Seasons? An apartment in Burj Hammoud? Nope! You start a singing career, of course. Or rather, restart it.

So, instilling a photoshop team from 2003, Harfouch and Sfeir decided they would take the country by storm. And hence came to be… “Dalli D7aki” (Keep Smiling), a song for Mother’s Day.

They filled our streets with the song’s billboards. They inundated our visual fields with their stellar works of art. The song, however, remained quite elusive, and the question remained: what would Mr. Harfouch’s mother do? Not listen to the song would be my top bet.

This song being extremely occasion specific couldn’t make a dent for Mr. Harfouch in the artistic domain. So he decided to go back to the drawing board. He figured people wouldn’t remember two failed attempts, so let’s plan for a summery comeback, one that would be with a bang. This time, the bang was in the hair because Mr. Harfouch got implants.

And here came to be Ya Albi, a song about Mr. Harfouch’s heart. While driving to Beirut from the North (#TeamNorth) yesterday, I decided to see where Harfouch had released the song. Like all the greats, he gave Anghami the exclusive.

“Ya Albi” has been on the region’s prime streaming service for weeks now, and has only amassed a couple thousand streams. Not to brag, but if I taped my cousin Yasmina blabbing, she would get more streams than that.

My friends and I wondered why a song that has taken up every single visual field point of our streets would fail to resonate this massively. Could it be that the song just sucked? The only way to know was to listen to it. So we did.

It started.

Albi, Ya albi
Albi albi albi, Ya albi

Albi albi albi
Albi ya albi

Albi albi albi
Albi ya albi

Wlak Albi albi albi
Albi ya albi

I’m not sure if any of you counted, but the opening lyrics of the song is nothing more than Nabil Harfouch wailing about his heart, 21 times to be exact. And then came in the first verse:

Albi ma7rou2 w mekwi
Darbetou akbar berhan

Dammak mech 3am temchi
3el2ane bi noss el sheryan

This is pure medical knowledge right there. For the few seconds in which those lyrics reverberated off my speakers and onto my ear ossicles, I felt a rush of cardiology take over me. Can anyone else even?

At this point, popular request was to stop the song and listen to anything else instead, even Maya Diab. But we persevered:

Albi albi albi
Albi ya albi

Albi albi albi
Albi ya albi

Ya albi chou sayer fik
Wa7dak b rou7e tsawik

Ya albi chou sayir feek

Rou7e enta
3omre enta
Rou7e enta
3omre enta
rou7e enta wou 3omre enta
rou7e enta wou 3omre enta

Ana 3ayesh dayib fik

In case you’re keeping count, we’re up to 34 “albi”s at this point. I won’t bother counting “rou7e” and “3omre” because why bother.

Albi albi albi
Albi ya albi

Wlek albi albi albi
Albi ya albi

Ya seken bi 2akhe
Jra7ak Jra7e

Dawahon ya rou7e
Dawahon ya rou7e

Dawahon ya rou7e

Dawahon ya rou7e

Dawahon ya rou7e

Teskon fike
w eskon fiyye

Rou7e enta
3omre enta
Rou7e enta
3omre enta
Rou7e enta
3omre enta

Rou7e enta
3omre enta
Rou7e enta
3omre enta

Ana 3ayesh dayeb fik

Albi albi albi, ya albi
Albi albi albi, ya albi

Albi ya albi

I have this feeling that, when done writing and recording, the duo behind this song couldn’t help but have a *mic drop* moment.

I, on the other hand, took a few moments to collect my jaw off the floor of my car, take my hands and pat my bleeding ears. Yes, Lebanon has a new singing sensation. And honestly, I can’t wait for when she dumps him.

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