Interview: Anthony Touma

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Anthony Touma

At just seven years old, Anthony Touma told his mother he wanted to be a music artist when he grew up. “She told me I’d grow out of it when I’m older,” he explained. “I never did.”

The Lebanese-French singer-songwriter’s big break came in 2013, when he appeared on the second season of “The Voice France”. Recalling the experience, Touma said: “I sent a video online not expecting an answer.

“I was living in Lebanon and the show was being produced and filmed in Paris. I got a call a month later and I took the first plane to Paris to audition.”

Touma reached the semi finals of the show, which was ultimately won by Yoann Fréget. Despite not winning, Touma was grateful for the opportunity: “The show changed my life. That’s how most people who know me today were introduced to my voice.

“I had no idea how mentally and physically challenging such a show is. It was an experience full of ups and downs, but I would say that in general, it was a life changing experience.”

Touma’s appearance on The Voice France opened many doors for the singer-songwriter, including a collaboration with Enrique Iglesias on the French remix of “Let Me Be Your Lover”.

“Since Enrique and I were signed to the same record label back then but in different territories, my name was suggested during Enrique’s search for the right artist to collaborate with,” Touma explained.

“I wrote some new French lyrics to the track and composed an additional bridge to replace the rapping part that was initially there, sung by Pitbull. Enrique and his team liked what I did. The next thing I know, we’re in Miami recording the track!”

He added: “Enrique is one of the most genuinely nice people I’ve met and he made the whole thing feel very simple and enjoyable. Collaborating with Enrique was a childhood dream come true to be honest.”

Fast-forward to 2017, and the 25-year-old has made his international debut with the release of the “Walk Away” – a pop/R&B track that combines Touma’s soulful voice with touching lyrics.

Speaking about his latest single, Touma said: “This track is one of the tracks that speaks to me most. It tells my story and it just makes me feel good when I listen to it.

“On my journey to where I am today, I had a lot of people not believing in me. As time went by and as I moved forward and improved, these same people started noticing my success and came back to me acting friendly, supportive and showing ‘fake love’ as Drake would say. They inspired me to write this song.”

He added: “I felt a lot of people would relate, it also reminded me of relationships where your ex who left you suddenly gains interest again because you’ve ‘gotten prettier’ or more successful etc.”

The single is the first to be taken from Touma’s upcoming album, which will be the first the singer-songwriter has recorded in English. He said: “I’ll be releasing lots of new songs and, hopefully, I’ll be taking it to as many places around the world as possible.”

Anthony Touma’s “Walk Away” is out now on Universal Music MENA. You can find out more about Anthony Touma on his Facebook page.

University of Lincoln Journalism graduate David Wriglesworth is a Social Media Manager at tgi MEDIA in Darlington and is the founder of What’s On Darlington – a community hub for the town of Darlington.