Singer Ghanim Shaheen, a member of the jury of the “Nagham” competition (singing category in Arabic), which is organized by the Music Affairs Center of the Ministry of Culture, revealed the completion of the three stages of the competition, pending the announcement of the winners of the first three places, in a ceremony that is expected to be announced later.


Ghanim Shaheen said that the competition in its new version is distinguished by all standards, and he also talked about the participating voices, and the criteria adopted by the jury, in addition to talking about the listeners committee that was formed for the first time in a singing competition, in addition to other topics in the following dialogue.


After the first counting process and the selection of the participating votes. Where is the Nagham competition?


As you know, the “Nagham” competition in its third edition is held this year under the slogan “The Rhythm of Success”, and it is of two categories: the category of singing in Arabic, and a category for non-Arabic speakers, and there is a jury for each category, and we have been accustomed to the Music Affairs Center on the new in each version of this competition, so I am happy with this experience that brought me together with my colleague Mr. Ali Abdul Sattar and flute player Yassin Ayari, who is one of the distinguished musicians, and our role as the jury is to select the votes according to technical criteria, including sound, attendance, and rhythm. Time, denominator.


Tell us about the stages of the competition and your personal assessment of the votes submitted to the committee?


The competition consists of three stages: the first stage has more than 800 votes in both categories, and the number is surprising because it showed me how important this competition is. Initially, around 80 videos were selected in the Arabic singing category; 24 voices qualified for the second stage. At this stage, 12 voices were selected and sang in front of the committee without accompanying the orchestra, which does not mean that the rest of the votes are not good, but the competition law requires us to choose 12 people. In the third stage, we chose 6 voices that sang in front of the band, which are attractive voices par excellence.


What technical criteria were adopted by the jury in the three stages of the competition?


As a jury, we evaluate the sounds from a technical point of view, as well as the person’s choice of song and his transition from one music maqam to another if the song has more than one maqam, in addition to his presence, letter exits, pitch, and others. What I can say in this context is that the singing choices of the six talents were successful with the help of Mr. Khaled Al-Salem, Director of the Music Affairs Center, whom I thank for his guidance and assistance to the participants in choosing the songs that suit their voices.


What caught your eye in this contest besides the beauty of the voices?


A large number of talents who applied for the competition have beautiful voices, and as I said earlier, the grades are the difference between one talent and another, and this does not mean that the votes that did not qualify are not good. There are some talents who appeared confused, which is normal in such competitions, where a person stands for the first time in front of a jury and sings in front of a musical band, and we take into account such things because confusion is normal for talent, and with rehearsals, the majority of participants got rid of confusion and succeeded in convincing the committee thanks to their choices, performance and successful attendance.


How are votes evaluated? And what about the next stage?


At each stage we offer certain grades; there is a listening committee that has an opinion and a percentage of these scores or of the evaluation. These listeners have nothing to do with music, they are only an audience that evaluates the sound according to its personal impression, expresses its opinion as a listener, has no influence on the jury, and this is the first time it has happened in a singing competition.


Currently, we have completed the second and third phases, pending the date of the closing ceremony to announce the top three finishers. These three contestants will be presented for the competition so that the public can vote for the second and third place finalists, while the jury will select the first place winner.


Do you think that the time is right to judge such artistic competitions after an artistic career full of successful works and participations?


I do not hide from you that I wish that we would have such artistic competitions so that beautiful voices would emerge in our society, which was confirmed to me by this experience, as I was surprised that Qatari society is full of many beautiful voices that they did not have the opportunity to discover, and I take this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Culture and the Center for Music Affairs for this initiative in order to discover talents, encourage them to appear and direct them in the right direction, and I think that these talents need support from the media in order to continue to This field. I am happy with this experience, which holds me a great responsibility because most of the votes are beautiful and the selection process is difficult, as you find yourself in front of a beautiful talent, but the competition law requires you to set grades and choose the best, which is a responsibility – as I said – great, but what I can say is that there are many talents that surprised me personally.


How did you see the musical taste of these talents?

There is a general trend for Taarab Song, and this is satisfying, because some believe that the current generation does not know or do not hear Taarab Songs, but the competition showed us the exact opposite, as talents sang for great singers such as Abdel Halim Hafez, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Melhem Barakat, Wadih Al-Safi, and Fayrouz, which are difficult choices that showed the possibilities and capabilities of the voice.


Many young talents have emerged in recent years through the Gulf Voice Radio. How do you see this role?

In one year, Gulf Voice Radio presented the program “Golden Voice” and won at that time 3 votes, including the artist Saoud Jassim who is now one of the well-known artists in the music scene. This initiative is credited to the Gulf Voice, in addition to the exclusive sessions that showed us new voices, and this in itself supports artistic talents, especially since the Gulf Voice Radio has its reach in the Arab world.


Away from the jury. When will we see your next productions?

I am present in the artistic scene and recently I finished recording and filming two new works: the first work entitled “Habibi”, a duet with the artist Iman Al-Shmaiti with lyrics and music by Khafeeq, and the second work entitled ” Ana Asef – I am sorry” with lyrics and music by Jawaher Burshaid, and the two works will be released soon after the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories stabilizes.