i\m devoted to my fans
Last Updated : GMT 09:03:51
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Last Updated : GMT 09:03:51
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Karima Skalli to Arabstoday:

I'm devoted to my fans

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Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today I'm devoted to my fans

Moroccan singer Karima Skalli
Casabanca – Rajja Al Aaysami

Moroccan singer Karima Skalli Casabanca – Rajja Al Aaysami Arabstoday held an exclusive interview with acclaimed Moroccan singer Karima Skalli, where she tells us she is happy singing classical songs even though that means she has a niche fan base. She also said she enjoys late singer Asmahan’s songs but would not be a copycat, and added in her interview with Arabstoday that she wishes music was studied in Moroccan schools.
Arabstoday: At your last performance in Casablanca you sang some songs by late singer Asmahan, and not for first time. Your voices are similar, aren't afraid you'll end up "copying" her?
Karima Skalli: I enjoy singing Asmahan's songs and I take it as a useful way to practice my voice. I rely on it as a way to penetrate the song industry, and it was an honour to be part of Asmahan tribute concerts. Her distinct voice made her sing operatic and expressive songs that were before her time but some composers like Ryad al-Sonbaty, Medhat Assem challenged themselves by making her sing what other voices could not.
 I am learning from her songs, even if they are not many, they are unrivalled in quality. Her songs have a special beauty and have an eternal feel to them, so I consider it a subject I have to study well to learn more. Her aesthetic production sense reflects a mixture of Eastern and Western culture. I love singing her songs but I’ll never fall in the trap of copying and even when I sing her songs I sing it with the voice and feeling of Karima Skalli.
AT: Some people noticed that you were about to dance while singing, even though it was a classical concert, how do you manage that?
KS: First of all I want to say that when I stand on the stage I realise that I am in front of fans who I really respect and love, and I appreciate that they came to listen to me, so I totally live inside my song and concentrate on my work. For example when I call for my beloved in the lyrics, it is reflected in my body language and movements on stage. I am not putting up a dance performance and neither do I want to, but I am keen on concentrating on my job and to be honest in my art, so my features and my body movement schange from song to another. I dive inside the song and its melody and lyrics and the most important thing that I care about is to be honest in performing.
AT: Beside Asmahan’s songs you are introducing Sufi songs; don’t you think these songs won't get you a very big fan base as today's audiences love pop music so much?
KS: I know that mainstream music is more popular now, and sometimes the voice of the singer is lost in the song. Classical music also has its fans who only enjoy specific music like that of the lute and slow melodies. The huge numbers that come every year at the Fes Music Festival is the best evidence that classical singing in our country still has fans. There are also my fans whom I love and sing for...I know I chose a hard path that might not achieve a great fan base, but I always search for eternal music that I can be part of.
AT: Do you think that if you did not introduce your special kind of singing you wouldn't compete against  those who sing commercial songs?
KS: I did not quarrel with anyone, I am introducing art that I care about. Yes the present crop of songs is not very good, but I want to enrich my desire to sing as well as satisfy fans.
AT: Do you think Moroccan television is stuck to promoting folk music?
KS: I don’t think that Moroccan TV chooses one genre over the other, I think they introduce a lot of music that fits all kinds. I don’t have a negative perspective towards any kind of music. I also listen to folk music, and love listening to classic music at other times. Every mood has its own kind of music.
AT: Where does Karima Skalli derive her elegance from?
KS: My concern of my elegance is my duty towards my fans, whom I respect. In Morocco there are many possibilities for elegance through the Moroccan caftan which I wear differently. Though I like to present myself well, I also take care to think smartly about my style so that I can move freely and be active on stage. Sometimes I feel like I want to dance, and clothes mustn’t be a barrier. I choose colours carefully and a young designer helps me a lot. I explain to her what I need and she does the rest.
AT: You are a housewife and at the same time an artist, how can you balance your family and work?
KS: Yes I am a mother of three children and a housewife. I live in Marrakech and I do my best to balance my work and my duties in taking care of my family and home. I really want to thank my husband because he totally understands my job, he bears my absence when I am busy with work, and he appreciate my happiness in my work. He says I represent Morocco in Paris or Egypt or the United States, when I go for concerts, and representing my homeland is my national duty.
AT: Are you trying to influence your children to join the entertainment industry, or do you want them to stay away from this field?
KS: In my house there was so much music, my children have been surrounded by music since I was pregnant with  them. When they were born they found an affinity for music as well, so it's important for them to be raised with music. Because of this, I registered them in musical institutes so that they could learn. They love art, and I don't force anything on them...it's not necessary that my kids be professionals, but it’s important for them to develop their own tastes. Music is a method to achieve balance between actual and abstract life, but more than that I ask to put music as a subject in schools and colleges, not to be artists but to have a taste for the arts.

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