Hamed Sinno

Hamed Sinno screen-shot-2013-08-02-at-12-28-15-am

Image from Raynbow Blog. Click to go there.

Hamed Sinno is the 25-year-old Lebanese lead singer of the Beirut-based band Mashrou’ Leila. Openly gay and goodlooking, Hamed is a charismatic singer whose handsome face and moustache have gotten him compared to the late great Freddie Mercury. Sex appeal-wise, I think Hamed is also touched with an elfin quality which renders him not just sexy but cute too.

His voice is incredibly sexy and is perfect for the songs he and the rest of his band produce. I just came across them recently and have not heard all their songs yet, but the ones I’ve heard so far are dreamily sensuous and touching. Like this one in the video below, Imm El Jacket إم الجاكيت (The Girl with the Jacket). Click here for a translation of the lyrics.

Noha El-Khatib wrote in an interview article for Discord Magazine that he first met Hamed in 2006 when the singer was a freshman at the American University of Beirut. He described Hamed as:

…an intellectually rebellious art student whose presence never went unnoticed, thanks to his ostentatious jokes, inappropriately sharp commentary, and beautiful voice that fetched many admirers before he even performed in public. Sometimes his impromptu lyrics were about sour or taboo topics like child molestation, homosexuality, and violence. Being exposed to his bluntness and volume, however, convinced most of the onlookers to think that he was confident, sexually ambiguous, outgoing, and unfazed by social expectations. Most of that was not true. He was shy, apologetic, struggling through social turbulence, and anxious for knowledge and peace of mind.

Hamed Sinno tumblr_mv6k4nm8xl1rdapy9o1_400

From the tumblr blog mashrou3leilafans. Click to go there.


Hamed Sinno tumblr_mtmpux7Ete1rdapy9o1_400

From the tumblr blog mashrou3leilafans. Click to go there.

Lil Watan للوطن, by Mashrou’ Leila مشروع ليلى

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Photo by Tania Trabulsi, taken in December 2009 during an album release concert. Left to right, the members are Ibrahim Badr, Hamed Sinno, Andre Chedid, Carl Gerges, Firas Abou-Fakher, Haig Papazian and Omaya Malaeb. From Wikipedia, click to go there.

Mashrou’ Leila مشروع ليلى is an indie-pop band that sings in Arabic and is based in Beirut, Lebanon. It was formed in February 2008 at the American University of Beirut.

Their lead singer is the handsome and openly-gay Hamed Sinno. The band has also released songs that feature gay love right from the beginning with their 2009 self-titled first album, such as Shim El Yasmine (Smell the Jasmine).

I am delighted to have just been introduced to the band via Gaybros, where redditor Larikush has provided a link to their song Lil Watan للوطن.

The info accompanying the video at YouTube states that the title means ‘For the Motherland’, and that it is:

a song that discusses the way we are taught to acquiesce to the status quo, and the apathy we are rewarded for in Lebanese politics. “Every time you demand change, they make you despair until you sell out all your freedom. They tell you to stop preaching and come dance with them.”

Shake them boobies and booteh, baybeh!

I love the groovy and laid-back yet catchy sounds of the song. For the gist of what the song means, click here for several versions of its Arabic lyrics’ translation. The video itself was kinda ‘meh’ to me at first. However, this is from someone who was ignorant of the intention and message behind the video. From what I gather from comments on YouTube and the band’s Facebook, I’ve learnt that the video expresses a lament on certain segments of society in Lebanon.

Comments about the video on their Facebook include:

  • We’am Hamdan: The video is very sarcastic. VERY. It’s a parody.
  • Asmaa Faris: To everyone complaining about the video. This might be Mashrou Leilas strongest conceptual music video ever. The belly dancing is not the point. It’s about our shallow middle eastern society; how we can be distracted easily.
  • Ahmed Al Tamimi: Obviously the video serves as a parody of the arab world. That’s how arabic musicians sing they stand on a stage and have a girl belly dance around their talent-less selves.
  • George Audi: Love it. The contrast of the band wearing black (mourning the sad state of the country?) contrasted with the disconcerted dancer (the government?) is very well played. The filter effects, low production feel and simplicity of the video only emphasize this point further.