Every time he works on a new album, trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf asks himself: Should I do something new or repeat myself? He asks, “Am I going to release an album just to release an album because that’s how I make my living?…”. “The challenge I face every time is trying to surprise myself.”
After the release of his Grammy-nominated album with Angelique Kidjo, the French-Lebanese trumpeter is back with a new series of works titled The ability to loveThe It features some of the best pop and hip hop music in the industry.
The album features a wide range of singers from across the spectrum of pop music – from Cimafunk, Tank and Bangas to hip-hop artists Eric the Architect and De la Soul.
“I love hip-hop culture, I love American culture,” says Maalouf. You can’t be European, for example, or even Lebanese, without having a lot of your American culture. Because you watch TV, you watch movies, you listen to pop music. So this is all American influence, no one denies that.
Maalouf invited unknown artists and some big names to record for the album. the address The ability to love This came from singer Gregory Porter after the two musicians had a long conversation about the ideas and philosophy behind the album. Maalouf says this project is the first outside his comfort zone.
Bring the trumpet competition back to life
Maalouf attributes much of his career to his father’s mentor, Maurice André, who has inspired generations of trumpeters. When the international trumpet competition in honor of Andre was halted for 16 years, Maalouf felt responsible for bringing it back to Paris to honor the two men.
“Ten years after losing Maurice Andre,” he said, “we have to bring him back.” Because that’s the name Maurice Andre, that’s what he brought to me, my dad, and our family, and I can’t forget it. »
French trumpeter Clemente Saunier says André’s influence helped Maalouf understand the power of his instrument, blending his father’s Arabic musical heritage with other sounds. “It adds to the style of classical, jazz and world music,” he adds. “I think this image of finally, ‘Anything is possible if I play the trumpet,’ is not just about playing in the back seats of the group.”
Find common ground
The hard work paid off. Maalouf was nominated for a 2023 Grammy Award for his film Queen of Sheba album with Angelique Kidjo. It is a seven-part pavilion connecting Africa with the Middle East. Kidjo wrote songs in the Yoruba language inspired by the mysteries posed to King Solomon by the Queen of Sheba. Maalouf composed and arranged the music. Kidjo says he chose puzzles that are relevant to today’s world, such as insult About the power of the word.
“We need to talk to each other and find common ground,” says Kidjo. “Because it is our destiny, it forces us to live together, and if we lose the ability to talk to each other, we start killing each other.”
Common ground is Maalouf’s main theme in his new album, The ability to love. Her perfect world is explored in the song’s video El MundoIt features Brazilian singer Flavia Coelho and DJ Tony Romera.
“It’s a world without judgments,” he says. “We don’t judge people based on how they look or their lifestyle. We just accept and don’t threaten who you are. When you accept people in your family, it doesn’t mean they’re going to change you, it doesn’t mean you’re threatened. It simply means we share values.
Maalouf says he does not expect the album to change the world, but he is optimistic.
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