Written by Kit Burns
You may think Mary Fakhoury (http://www.maryfakhoury.com) is more than one person. After listening to her EP Universal Worlds, Fakhoury’s unrestrained genre-leaping, cutting through the boundaries of French and Arabic music to vocal jazz and hip-hop, might leave you a tad dizzy. Certainly this is the kind of mesmerizing diversity that Madonna has aimed for throughout her long career; however, Fakhoury achieves it on one CD, remaining shockingly consistent in terms of song quality and vocal performance. Fakhoury could very well be the blueprint of the 21st century pop star, a one-woman United Nations on an iPod.
Kit Burns: Nearly all female vocalists on the scene today can fit into one genre or another; they’re easily labeled. You, on other hand, wear your eclecticism like a badge of honor. Have you always created music that is so varied?
Mary Fakhoury: For me it was inevitable to become so eclectic with my music. Growing up the child of singers, I was exposed to everything from Arabic music to Frank Sinatra. I come from a unique heritage of Greek and Arabic, but of course of American decent that I knew every style of music, stuff people have never even heard of. Music is a universal language that can be communicated in different ways. I have always created music that is so varied because to me I am telling a story or creating something of my expression.
Burns: You have an Arabic tune on your last EP. Do you have Middle Eastern roots? Is that a musical style you intend to pursue in the future?
Fakhoury: Yes, I do have Middle Eastern roots. Do I plan to have similiar tracks to this in the future? Yes, absolutely.
Burns: How much artistic input do you put in your recordings? Does the producer(s) mainly call the shots?
Fakhoury: I have 100% artistic input. It wouldn’t be mine if I didn’t. The producer takes care of the technical side of things but to let them control the direction the album is going, no, I can do that myself.
Burns: What did you want to do first – be a model or be a singer?
Fakhoury: I have definitely wanted to be a singer like my father. I think of him as Mozart in a way, incredibly talented but at the wrong time with the wrong crowd.
Burns: Given your balancing act with music, what is your live show like?
Fakhoury: Right now, my live show has more like a jazzy feel; think of yourself being in a cabaret in paris in the ’20s. If I had the millions that other huge names like Madonna have in their live shows I would do something befitting to every song or “story” I tell, soon, very soon.