Mike Massy

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Mike Massy
Mike massy Concert Washington DC.jpg
Massy performing, March 2014
Background information
Birth name Michael El Massih
Born (1982-03-31) 31 March 1982 (age 36)
Origin Anfeh, Lebanon
Genres Jazz, Arabic music, Pop, Baroque, Andalousia
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, composer, actor, Voice Coach, Music Producer
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 2003–present
Website www.mikemassy.com

Mike Massy (Arabic: مايك ماسي‎) (born 31 March 1982) is a Lebanese singer, songwriter, performer, composer, arranger, pianist and actor.[1] Mike Massy plays the leading role in the upcoming musical by Pascal Obispo and Christophe Barratier, produced by Sony Music and Holy Production. His discography combines more than 6 albums, numerous video clips, multiple musical shows, television series, short films and plays. He began his career in 2003 by releasing an album of spiritual hymns, Ila ssama atba’ouka, before founding his own label, Falak Productions. His debut album, Ya Zaman (Ô Good Old Days), was released in 2011 to critical acclaim, praising the nostalgic melodies of the East, the rigorous harmonies of baroque, and the elemental roots of jazz rhythms. A collaboration between 32 Lebanese and Belgian musicians, Ya Zaman peaked atop of the Lebanese charts, earning Massy the Murex d'Or (Golden Murex award) for "Innovation in Music" in 2012.

Musical Journey & Influences[edit]

Originally from the Lebanese town of Anfeh, Mike Massy was born in 1982, in the city of Jounieh where he was raised. Amidst the raging battles and the ugliness of war, he found a harbor of peace in the angelic voice of Feyrouz and the nostalgic melodies of Zaki Nassif. Soon, he was fascinated by the new world he had discovered and at the age of nine, he started his first piano lessons. Growing up, he was drawn to the French Chanson music genre, in particular the authentic poetry of Brel and the grandeur of Aznavour. At the age of twelve, Massy joined the National High Conservatory of Music where he continued his classical piano training. At seventeen, his deep natural curiosity and immense love of challenge pushed him to learn Arabic Opera and old Andalusian “Mouwachahats”. He also trained in Oriental and Occidental singing.[2] However, Massy’s artistic thirst was not quenched. Driven by his passion for theatre, he joined the Faculty of Fine Arts where he graduated in Dramatic Art from the Lebanese University. Simultaneously, he followed Jazz Ballet courses at the Arabesque dancing school, eventually joining its acclaimed troupe. Mike Massy’s composing and singing started very early on, when he was a child behind his piano. His innate talent and solid musical and artistic education evolved into a new style marked with novelty, distinctiveness and refinement, remaining both simple and inimitable.[3]

Ya Zaman, the breakthrough[edit]

Released in November 2011, Ya Zaman marked the real debut of Mike Massy’s career. Described as gracefully rooted in nostalgia, the album was an immediate success, scoring the first rank on the list of albums sold in Lebanon for more than eight consecutive weeks, and remaining on top of the radio charts in the Middle East and North Africa for around two years."[4] With major hits like “Ghayyer Lawn Ouyounak” (Change the color of your eyes) and “Khalasna Ba’a” (Enough is enough), Massy left a fresh mark on the Lebanese, Middle Eastern and world music scene ranging between deep romance and harsh social critique. His cover of “Ya Achikata l Wardi” (Lover of the roses) by the great Zaki Nassif was highly acclaimed as reviving Lebanon’s musical heritage in a modern, stylish and respectful way. With 11 original tracks written, composed and arranged by Mike Massy, Ya Zaman sales exceeded expectations. The album went viral bringing Massy’s unique music and identity to thousands of fans from all over the world. It also thrust Massy on national and international stages and owned him the prestigious Murex d’Or for innovation in Music in 2012.

Tannoura Maxi[edit]

In 2012, he wrote and composed the soundtrack of the controversial Tannoura Maxi, the feature-film debut of Lebanese director Joe Bou Eid.[3][5]

Mike Massy Live on Broadway then Bulgaria[edit]

Massy's continued success in the Arabic music scene raised interest in the United States, where Massy made his debut Broadway concert in 2013 at the Merkin Concert Hall.[6] Massy performed songs from his repertoire, in addition to well-known Lebanese and Arabic classics.[7] Mike Massy's concert on Broadway led to a collaboration with Bulgarian Producer Vlada Tomova for a number of concerts in Bulgaria. Massy also composed an orchestral piece and recorded it with the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of Bulgaria.

Oriental Music Scene at Stanford University[edit]

Mike Massy was invited to Stanford University in March 2014 for a concert on oriental music and a lecture about the Middle Eastern music scene and his musical influences.[8] Mike Massy's lecture got great positive feedback at Stanford; he was again invited to give another concert and lecture in March 2015.[9]

Naseej[edit]

While working on new projects, Mike Massy met Ayad & Sary Khalifé and decided to create a Sufi Andalusian music with a hint of Jazz and Oriental that later on sees light at the Zouk Mikael Festival.[10] The album, entitled Naseej (literally "the action of weaving") was composed and recorded in Paris, France, and again, in Ghent, and Brussels like Massy's last album. The project had its premiere at the Zouk Mikael Festival on August 7, 2014, with the album released the same month.[3][11]

Oriental Jazz[edit]

In April 2015, Mike Massy was the first Middle Eastern Arabic singer/ songwriter to conquer the heart of "Jazz at Lincoln Centre", as a guest artist in its extension in Doha, Qatar, where he performed with the musicians of the "Jazz at Lincoln Centre" and the "Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra". Twelve consecutive performances at the "Jazz at Lincoln Centre", and another outdoor concert by the gulf, at the "Museum of Islamic Arts" in Doha took place in Qatar presenting Oriental Jazz and introducing the traditional Lebanese Dabkeh to the jazz rituals. [3][12]

Mike Massy Kan Yama Cannes live in the heart of the Croisette[edit]

In May 2015, Massy held a concert during the Cannes Film Festival at the Croisette that was live streamed on the internet and on big screen on the Croisette avenue. He sang in Lebanese, French and English. .[3][3][13][14]

"Music Production Career"[edit]

In addition to composing arranging more than 32 albums for children in English and French language, produced by Editions Kédémos, Mike Massy musically produced 3 albums topping the Lebanese hits for different artists [Sevine] Je Grandis (2016), [Re-Mi Bendali] Ma Nseet (2015) and [Yvonne El Hachem] Maaleish (2015), [Nada] Yemken, Sayf W Layl, Al Baadou Nouhibbouhoum, Ave Maria, My Mood that Day. And Composed, Arranged and Produced a number of singles for Lebanese and Jordanian Artists: [Cynthia Karam] Albi Byehmoul, [Macadi Nahas] Kholis el Haki, Tiji Nsafer, [Jahida Wehbe], [Tania Kassis] Kam Marra, [Haifa Kamal] Ma Tensa Ouyouni. [3][15]

Voice Matters Workshop[edit]

Mike Massy founded in 2015 Voice Matters Workshop, the first initiative for spoken and singing voice in the Middle East. His own journey with the voice started 15 years ago. As he was seeking ways to overcome the technical challenges he faced as an artist; especially that he is both an actor and a singer. It was unthinkable for Massy to favour one facet of his artistic personality over the other. He instinctively knew that a voice is an instrument to be respected and treated the same way whether for speech or singing. To this end, he had to seek alternative ways to hone the skills he had acquired throughout his academic path.[3][16] By doing so, he also realised the healing potential of voice work. From the soothing vibrations of a hum, to the strident liberation of a high note I learned to find refuge in those privileged moments. He actively listened to his heart, his body and his soul all becoming one in a breath of life creating a sound he can call my own. Throughout this process, Massy became increasingly aware of the lack of such workshops in the Middle-East and North Africa. Driven by his inspiring passion for voice he could not resist the desire to share this universe with those who generously allow him to enter their world and hopefully help them achieve well-being. Thus the birth of Voice Matters Workshop.

Discography[edit]

  • Ila ssama atba’ouka (2003)
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider (Soundtrack) (2008)
  • Ya Zaman (2011)
  • Tannoura Maxi (Soundtrack) (2012)
  • B Beirut" (Beirut Marathon Official song) (2012)
  • One Woman Song" (UN Women theme song for International Women's Day) (2014)
  • Naseej (Mike Massy, Ayad & Sary Khalifé) (2014)
  • Kalbon Kabeer (BraveHeart NGO song) (2015)
  • Anta Houriyati [Remastered Version] (2016)
  • Kermali In collaboration with ABAAD NGO and women survivors of domestic violence (2016)
  • Le Délire", EP french songs containing a cover of "Ne Me Quitte Pas" by the legendary Jacques Brel, adapted in Lebanese (2017)
  • Jésus de Nazareth à Jérusalem Soundtrack Musical in France (2017)

Awards[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2011 Murex d'Or Innovation in Music "Ya Zaman" Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.rockpaperscissors.biz/index.cfm/fuseaction/current.bio/project_id/701.cfm
  2. ^ "Toutes les facettes artistiques de Mike Massy au rendez-vous à Batroun". agendaculturel.com. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "ZOUK MIKAEL INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL". zoukmikaelfestival.org. 
  4. ^ "Mike Massy's latest album nostalgically looks back". The Daily Star Newspaper - Lebanon. 
  5. ^ "Tannoura Maxi ignites furore in Lebanese cultural circles". The Daily Star Newspaper - Lebanon. 
  6. ^ "John Paul II Mission presents Mike Massy in Concert". kaufmanmusiccenter.org. 
  7. ^ "Bulgarian Television & Radio". www.play.riffstation.com. 
  8. ^ https://mediterraneanstudies.stanford.edu/events/mike-massy-middle-eastern-music.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Arabilogy Stanford radio show". www.arabology.org. 
  10. ^ "Fabric of music and dance to close Zouk Mikael". The Daily Star Newspaper - Lebanon. 
  11. ^ "Mike Massy, Ayad et Sary Khalifeh. Tissés serrés à Zouk". magazine.com.lb. 
  12. ^ http://qataractu.com/evenements/mike-massy-au-jazz-lincoln-center.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ https://blog.horyou.com/live-music-takes-center-stage-at-horyou-village/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ http://www.nicerendezvous.com/2015051312123/le-festival-de-cannes-2015-au-grand-hotel-village-horyou-cafe-45-et-plage-bagatelle.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ https://allevents.in/beirut/re-mi-bendali-ma-nseet-album-launching-event/747149238752527.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ http://www.voicemattersworkshop.com/about-the-founder.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]