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Latifa Bint Alayah Al Arfaoui in Carthage 2008 concert
|Birth name||Latifa Bint Alayah Al Arfaoui
لطيفة بنت عليه العرفاوي
|Born||February 14, 1968|
|Genres||Arab pop, Classic, Arab Tarab, Khaleeji, Arabic music, Arabesque music, Music of Egypt, Middle Eastern music, Disco, Techno, Raï|
|Labels||La Reine, Universal Music, Warner Brothers, EMI, Virgin Records, Alam Al Phan, LATISOL, Rotana|
Latifa Bint Alaya El Arfaoui (Tunisian Arabic: لطيفه بنت عليه العرفاوي pronunciation: [ɫɑˈt̪ˤiːfæ bɪnt ʕælɛi̯jæ (e)l.ʕɑrˤˈfɛːwi]) (born February 14, 1968; better known as Latifa (لطيفة) is a Tunisian pop singer.
In 1983, shortly after her father died, Latifa and her family took a trip to Egypt to rest and mourn. During that time, she met composer Baleegh Hamdi, who advised her that she ought to move to Egypt for the sake of her career. However Latifa wanted to concentrate on her education. She returned to Tunisia to finish her high school final exams. Due to financial issues, she could not go back to Egypt, so she attended college in Tunisia, studying Dutch literature for a year and a half. Her family decided to help her make her dream come true by sending her to Egypt, so she quit college in Tunisia and joined the Arab Academy of Music in Egypt, from which she earned her bachelor degree. She is preparing for her master's degree.
Composer Mohammed Abdel Wahab happened to hear her on the radio. Two days later he went to the Academy to find out more about her, leaving Latifa speechless as she discovered he wanted to speak with her. At the time she primarily performed long Tarab songs, but she was interested in doing something new. She began to work with composer Ammar Al Sherai'ei and poet Abdulwahab Muhammed, whom she met during her first visit to Egypt.
Many of Latifa's early albums (1984s) have Arab style. The album Mesa Al Jamal ("Evening Of Beauty") made Latifa Bint Alayah Al Arfaoui famous in Egypt. "Akthar Min Roohi" ("More than My Soul"), was released in 1986. She began singing Arab pop songs with music by Ammar Al Sherai'ei and lyrics by Abdulwahab Muhammed. The album was hugely successful all over the Arab world. The songs had very original ideas and distinctive styles, and Latifa began making her songs shorter and adding different influences such as tango music. She also shot a music video for the single "Ew'ah Tegheer" ("Don't Be Jealous") which was extremely popular. The huge success of this album allowed Latifa Bint Alayah Al Arfaoui to buy half the shares of her producer's company and studio, La Reine. Since then, she has co-produced all her own albums and music videos.
In 1997, Latifa released the album Al Ghinwa ("The Song") considered follow up to "Akthar Min Roohi" from a previous album. Latifa then decided to perform a new style of songs called Qasa'ed Fos'ha. Her next album, 1998's Taloomoni Al Donya ("The World Blames Me"), featured Latifa singing lyrics written by the poet Nizar Qabbani. Latifa came back with a hit album, known in the Arab world with the title Wadeh ("Clear") and internationally known with the title Inchallah ("God willing") in 1999. The album was distributed by Universal Music France, and it was the first album in which Latifa performed in another language. The Franco-Arab song "Inchallah" made the Elle Magazine top 5. In the Arab World, "Inchallah" ("God willing"), Kerehtak ("I Hated You") and Wadeh ("Clear") were popular singles.
The 2002 variety album Desert Roses and Arabian Rhythms II featured Latifa performing an Arab Mawwal in the song "Take Me I'm Yours," and singing a small part in both Arabic and English with Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook of the band Squeeze. Latifa won the World Music Award 2004 for best selling artist in the Middle East and North Africa because of the album Ma Etrohsh Ba'ed ("Don't go away") produced in the year 2003 by Alam El Phan(Mazzica TV). In 2004, Latifa produced an album distributed by Warner Brothers France, titled Les Plus Belles Chansons De Latifa ("Latifa's Best Songs"). Although the album was mostly a collection of greatest hits, it also featured a brand-new Raï song called "Khalleoni" ("Let Me") that was Latifa's first attempt at Raï. In November, 2006 Latifa re-signed a contract with Rotana to distribute her records all over the Arab World.
In 2007 she appeared in the seventh episode of the Arabic version of ER known as Lahazat Harega starring as her self.
During her 20+ year career, Latifa has released more than 20 albums and singles.
- Atahadda (I challenge)
- Fil Kam Yom Illi Fato (In the past few days)
- Ma'alomat Akeeda (Definite information) International release
- Ma'alomat Akeeda (Definite information)
- Ma Etrohsh Ba'ed (Don't go away)
- Wadeh (Clear/Honest)
- Les Plus Belles Chansons De Latifa
- Inchallah (God willing)
- Ma Wahashtaksh? (Did you miss me?)
- Wa Akheeran (At last)
- Hokom Al Ro'ayan (Reign of the shepherds)
- Sokoot...Ha Ensawwar (Silence…we're rolling)
- Desert Roses 4
- Viva Arabia 4
- Desert Roses 2
- Etre Femme
During her career, Latifa released more than 70 music videos.