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