New di­rec­tion for boy band

MENA boy-band The5 don’t like 1D com­par­i­son

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - cait­

Sit­ting in a room with The5 could make any fe­male a lit­tle flus­tered. Five strap­ping lads, chat­ting away en­er­get­i­cally in Ara­bic and gig­gling, teas­ing each other and did I men­tion they’re rather hand­some?

The5 - Ahmed Has­san, Mo­hamed Bouhezza, Adel Ech­biy, Said Kar­mouz and Kazem Chamas - are in town to pro­mote the Clean & Clear cam­paign ‘See the Real Me’. The Bel Gharam stars are work­ing on a crowd-sourced col­lab­o­ra­tion, where fans con­trib­ute to their new song.

The boys are reg­u­larly de­scribed as ‘The Mid­dle East’s an­swer to One Di­rec­tion’. But Al­ge­rian rap­per BMD (also known as Mo­hamed) says: “We don’t re­ally like that as­so­ci­a­tion. It’s a com­mon ques­tion. I mean it’s good to com­pare us to a band like One Di­rec­tion - we do want their suc­cess, but...”

Moroc­can Adel adds: “Sure, we’re five, they’re five, we came to­gether on X-Fac­tor. But we’re so dif­fer­ent to them - par­tic­u­larly in our mu­sic style.”

Said, the youngest mem­ber of the group, ex­plains the dif­fer­ence: “We’re all from dif­fer­ent coun­tries, we work in Ara­bic and English - we have a rap­per.” With two num­ber one sin­gles, and four mil­lion fol­low­ers on­line, the 2015 X-Fac­tor Ara­bia fi­nal­ists say their mu­sic is Ara­bic-pop-fu­sion. Adel adds: “You could say our mu­sic is in­ter­na­tional pop mu­sic but the melodies and lyrics are Ara­bic.”

Though they are dif­fer­ent from One Di­rec­tion, it seems they have sim­i­lar fans, Adel tells us. “I was with BMD in a mall in Morocco, and so many girls came up and were try­ing to take our photos, se­cu­rity asked us to leave, be­cause we were caus­ing such a scene.”

Though other times they can be less dis­cern­ing. BMD laughs and says: “Some­times, when two of us are in a mall, a girl might come up and say, ‘Oh! Said! And then ask me to take their photo - and I’m like, ‘I’m one of The5 too!’.”

The boys didn’t all know each other dur­ing the ini­tial com­pe­ti­tion, but it didn’t take long for them to bond. Kazem (also the clown of the group) says: “Ac­tu­ally the mu­sic was a har­mony be­tween us, it brought us all to­gether, be­cause we were shar­ing our love of some­thing.”

And their goal, they tell me, is to have an in­ter­na­tional hit sin­gle - re­gard­less of the lan­guage. BMD says: “It just takes time, you need good mu­sic.” Adel promptly sings the cho­rus of the Al­ge­rian’s ‘C’est La Vie’ and BMD con­tin­ues: “You need a song that even if peo­ple don’t un­der­stand the lyrics, they love it, and it will get stuck in their head. That’s the song we need.”

MEET THE5: LtoR, Ahmed Has­san, Mo­hamed Bouhezza (BMD), Adel Ech­biy, Said Kar­mouz, and Kazem Chamas

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