Artist Ali Abdel Sattar, head of the Arab category jury of the “Nagham” competition, organized by the Music Affairs Center of the Ministry of Culture, confirmed that this year’s edition would be special due to the great momentum it is enjoying, as the competition witnessed the participation of more than 250 contestants, both citizens and residents, who were selected. They were reduced to 24 contestants to choose the best of them, and the Qatari song ambassador said that there are standards and controls set by the jury to choose the best voices, noting that the public vote will have a role in determining the winning voice during the advanced stages of the competition.

In another context, Abdel Sattar revealed that Habayeb FM Radio is preparing to launch its broadcast in a number of Gulf countries, after its recent success in broadcasting in the United States of America, pointing to a partnership between the radio and the Ministry of Culture to nurture singing talents in Qatar. The Qatari artist also called for the necessity of returning the “Qatari Song Night Festival” as it is an artistic event that supports Qatari singers and creates a special state of artistic movement. Abdel Sattar also revealed what is new in terms of musical works during the coming period. Here is the text of the interview:

First, tell us about your choice as head of the Nagham competition jury.

I am very happy with the confidence that the Ministry of Culture has given me, by choosing me as Chairman of the Arab Category Jury in this promising competition, which is characterized this year by great momentum, as more than 250 talented citizens and residents participated in this edition, and this reflects the great development that this competition is witnessing year after year. The other is its ability to provide the local scene with many promising talents.

What about the mechanism of the competition, and how to choose the winners?

After counting the number of participating votes, the contestants were reduced to 80, while 24 talents were chosen to participate in the official competition, where they will compete by singing with the oud only, so that only eight will be chosen to reach the advanced stage, which will be on a large stage, accompanied by a full musical band. There will also be an audience vote during this stage, after which only four talents will be selected for the semi-final stage, and then the most promising talent who will win the competition will be chosen.

What are the controls and standards set by the arbitration committee?

There are several criteria on the basis of which the voices participating in the competition are judged, the most important of which is that the participating voice is not imitated or cloned, as well as the contestant’s ability to control the layers of his voice and adhere to the musical rhythm, and his personality and stage presence.

Is there a plan to nurture the promising talents that the competition will produce?

Certainly, the goal of the competition is to replenish the scene with new voices, and there is a strategy at the Ministry of Culture to support and nurture these talents, give them the opportunity to participate in the various activities organized by the competition, and qualify them to be stars in the future.

Is there anything new regarding the “Qatari Song Night” festival?

We ask the Ministry of Culture to return to the “Qatari Song Night” festival, this artistic event that restored the prestige and status of the Qatari song and contributed to the emergence of a new generation of artists.

What is new on the “Habayeb FM” radio level, and on the personal level?

After launching our successful broadcast in the United States of America, we are preparing to launch our broadcast in a number of Gulf countries, namely: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. This comes after the great demand witnessed by radio through digital radio applications in these countries. As for the personal level, I am currently preparing to release four songs in the Egyptian dialect, which will be released on my official YouTube channel on October 12. The first of these songs is titled “Oh Cat,” in addition to a song in the Gulf dialect called “I Miss You.”