Since her debut on the show "Super Star", young Syrian singer Shahad Baramda has been able -- more than once -- to capture the attention of Kadhim al-Sahir, the "Caesar of the Arabic Song".
Her dream of singing with him has recently come true.
So far, she has one album to her name, "After What Happened", and she is preparing to film a music video for her first solo song, "My Beloved Has Arrived", in the Gulf dialect.
Mawtani spoke with her about her career aspirations.
Mawtani: Tell us about "Super Star".
Baramda: I was seventeen years old when I took part in the fourth season of that show on al-Mustaqbal satellite channel and I came in second place at the time. I started singing at a young age. When I was eight years old, I won first place at Sharjah festivals where I performed songs by Um Kalthoum.
Mawtani: It seems like it took you a while to release your first album. Why was that?
Baramda: After the show, it was necessary for me to prepare well for my career launch with steady steps. I took my time preparing my album, "After What Happened", which was released in 2009, and came three years after the show. At that time, I would listen to songs that were offered to me and choose the most suitable to record.
Mawtani: One of your album's songs, "I am Miserable", seems like a cross between Gulf and Bedouin music.
Baramda: Actually, it is called a "white dialect" and I consider it closer to the Iraqi dialect than to that of either the Gulf or Bedouin. The lyrics of "I am Miserable" are by Karim al-Iraqi and when I first heard the words, I felt I could relate. Even before I made my decision, I started singing it to myself.
Mawtani: Did you also sing at the Egyptian Opera House?
Baramda: That is right. The president of the Egyptian "Opera House" Festival, Ratiba al-Hafni, gave me the opportunity to stand on the stage of this historical house. I stood in front of the Egyptian audience and sang a song by Warda called "Black Eyes" as well as "The Hope of My Life" by Um Kalthoum.
Mawtani: You also had the opportunity to sing along side the "Caesar of the Arabic Song" twice.
Baramda: That is right. I am lucky since all my life I could only dream of singing with the Caesar, Kadhim al-Sahir, and my dream came true on the show "Tara Tata". I could not believe I was singing with him even though I am a self-confident person and have a strong sense of who I am. That was a big dream that came true. First, I did a duet with him and then a trio with the singer Milhim Zain. Upon [Kadhim's] request, I sang "From the Window, I Will Throw Myself to You". I felt I was fluttering like a butterfly out of sheer happiness.
Mawtani: Is there an upcoming music video you intend to film following "After What Happened"?
Baramda: I am preparing to film a single called "My Beloved Has Arrived" soon and it will be in the Gulf dialect. I recorded this song two months ago in Cairo and the lyrics are by Saoud al-Sharbatli with music by Abdullah al-Quood.