Fact catches up with French rising star, singer and composer, Nazim Khaled for an exclusive chat about Dubai and his career.
Hi, Nazim! Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?
My name is Nazim. I’m a singer, songwriter, and composer. I’m also an Executive Producer and an A&R representative who seeks and develops new artists and new talent.
I have been pro-musicians for about ten years but making a living from it exclusively for seven or eight years. So I am not necessarily rich, but I’ve lived comfortably for the last five or six years.
Yes, I went to Dubai earlier this year and it was a real breath of fresh air considering the sanitary situation in France. I saw some very beautiful beaches and I loved the atmosphere of Amazonico, it’s my crush outing wise during that trip.
To be a songwriter/composer is often to be a shadow man. Do you ever get jealous of the media coverage of artists who find success with your songs?
From the audience perspective, the singer gets all the glory and the composer lives in their shadow, but in reality, it is more about being in the light with them, bringing the artist to light and revealing them to the public.
So I would rather say it’s about highlighting an artist. I wouldn’t talk about jealousy per se but it’s true that I would also love to be able to express myself as a singer one day.
What kind of relationships do you have with the singers who sing your songs?
Very good. With most artists, we become friends. And I would even say we need to have a certain connection and feel with the artists we compose. It’s for what we are doing —at the end of the day, a song is a bit like an engagement ring.
What have you been doing during the pandemic?
To start with, I alternated sports periods and periods where I eat, then I also began to read books again. Finally, I took the opportunity to try to discover new talents, in particular, two very promising artists: Symon and Jade.
How do you explain the success of ‘Les yeux de la mama’? Is this song a key point in your career?
Indeed, people always mention ‘Les yeux de la mama’ and ‘Andalouse’ more than any other songs. These are two tracks that I wrote for Kendji Girac and I realise that ‘Les yeux de la mama’ has the most significant impact on people.
I think this is due to several reasons. First, the timelessness of the track — the text, the music, and this song’s melody transcend time. Secondly, We didn’t try to be modern with this song. We used the classic topic of the mother and it touches everyone, I guess. I’ve had so many messages from people telling me that they have chosen this title for their mother’s funeral. It’s crazy!
Kendji Girac will perform in the United Arab Emirates very soon at Dubai Opera and will undoubtedly sing that title. What does it mean to you for the song to leave the French borders?
Having songs of your own that you see performed everywhere is always very flattering and very beautiful; I even saw a cover somewhere of ‘Les yeux de la mama’ sung half in Arabic and French. I really wish I could listen to it as a live version.
As for Kendji, singing a song like this, with an Andalusian/Arabic twist, I definitely get why it works overseas, especially in countries like the UAE.
Do you have any English writing projects?
So I started to work with some composers from England and the US, so it is ongoing at the moment. I am currently enrolled in a reinforced English class for this reason.
I also love to write in Spanish and would love to collaborate with artists from the Arab world, the musicality is incredible and the singers’ voices are often magnificent.