Pop Violinist Réya Taps her Lebanese Roots in New Single 'October 17 Rises'
LOS ANGELES – Pop violinist/composer Réya taps her Lebanese heritage in her new instrumental single “October 17 Rises,” now available on Apple Music, Spotify and other platforms. To purchase the song, click here.
“The song title refers to the fact that the revolution in Lebanon is ongoing and still strong. I was in the U.S. during much of the revolution and wanted to join the whole movement and support the cause,” she said. “For the longest time, Lebanon has been ruled by a corrupt government and seeing everyone come together, Lebanese in all different countries, really inspired me and I felt the need to write this piece in support of the whole movement.”
The eclectic artist explores her classical music past in the song which features a full orchestra and hand percussion that echoes the music of her native land. The new single comes as a precursor to her upcoming instrumental album which she says blends her musical tastes that range from classical and pop to jazz and rhythm and blues.
Born Réya Wahab, she was immersed in music early on as her parents shared their love of music buying her CDs and taking her music festivals and concerts at an early age.
“My music teacher was a violinist and I really admired her which is why I picked the violin. It started as a hobby, but very quickly, I started loving it more and pushing myself more,” she recalled. “Growing up, we always listened to Michael Jackson, the Beatles, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, as well as Fairuz and Abd el Halim growing up, my mom played them all the time. I liked to listen to traditional Middle Eastern music and of course classical music because I studied at the Lebanese conservatory and pop and theatre music with friends.”
A graduate of the Lebanese National Conservatory Réya attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and went on to release a string of hit singles that included “Rooted.” “Debris” as well as acoustic cover of Ibrahim Maalouf’s “True Sorry" and others.
“What I hope my music does is make listeners feel the emotion I felt when writing it. My first piece, ‘Rooted,’ I was feeling nostalgia and longing for my country,” she said. “‘October 17 Rises’ was written when I was feeling strong, powerful and resilient. I hope it touches the listeners in whatever way and makes them feel something that they would like to listen to it again to reconnect with that feeling.”