Lina On Bridging Israeli-Palestine Gap, Life After ‘The Voice’
Lina Makhoul’s road to stardom couldn’t have been paved during a more poignant time. The Palestinian-American singer rose to prominence as the winner of The Voice Israel, chosen by Jews and Arabs alike for the sheer power of her voice. Going on to sing with the newly-formed Queen under Adam Lambert, Lina shines in her own right: her latest single, “Can’t Keep Falling,” is making a splash on international charts, even reaching No. 1 in Israel.
In the midst of an ongoing conflict between the people of Israel and Palestine, Lina’s bubbly pop music could not serve as a brighter symbol of the unity and peace both sides are fighting for. We caught up with Lina to discuss her upcoming projects, dream collaborations, and how it felt to be a Palestinian who won The Voice Israel.
Congrats on the Will Smith support last month. How did that come about?
Thank you! Will is such an inspiration. My booking agency, Marshall Arts, wanted to book me on that event, but the promoter said that Will himself had to confirm. My management sent Will's management some of my live performances and songs and guess what? Will approved! I met him backstage and fell in love with him. Such a humble yet impressive man. Big, big inspiration.
You've already had a few singles under your belt, along with
the recently-premiered "Can't Keep Falling." How are you feeling about the
public's reception to your music?
I really love “Can't Keep Falling,” it's one of my favorites! Well, what if I told you that it was No. 1 on iTunes Israel, No. 3 on Shazam, No. 3 on the Music Week Chart, played on MTV all over Europe, and a hymn of the pride parades in the U.K., Barcelona, and Tel Aviv? Amazing, right? I feel so grateful for my audiences, for all the love and support I receive from them. Best feeling in the world!
Are you working on any new music? Any new upcoming singles, a record?
Yes! Actually a brand new epic single is coming out really soon! It's called “I Wore It Better.” I co-wrote it with the amazing Knightstarr, Hiten Bharadia, and Josef Melin. I have just finished recording my debut album in New York, London, and Tel Aviv, and it will be released in 2018.
Tell me about what it was like to perform alongside Queen and Adam
Lambert. What was it like, performing as a pop musician alongside rock
It was a dream come true. It was my first time performing in front of tens of thousands of people (57,000 people, to be precise) and it was magical. The crowd was amazing, they sang along and gave me so much love back, and the one and only Brian May was on stage filming me on his phone! So it was crazy, crazy, crazy! And although I'm a pop musician, there's a little rock star inside who was so happy to share a stage with the best rock band in history.
Is there anyone you want to collaborate with as you continue to blow up?
So many I would like to collaborate with... but at the moment, I have an amazing single which hasn't been released yet and I think Sean Paul would be a perfect match. I met Sean a few months ago here in London and last month in Tel Aviv, and if luck plays on my side we'll collaborate! He's an extraordinary artist who adds his own spices to every song and turns it into a hit.
If I may add, there is one more very special artist that I would love to collaborate with: Eminem. Collaborating with him has always been a dream. Such a brilliant artist! He's definitely on the top of my wish list.
What's the end-goal for your career?
I don't think I have an end goal since I'm a dreamer and a very ambitious person, but certainly my main goal for my career right now is going on worldwide tours with my own music and performing in front of millions of people.
In your eyes, what significance was in the fact that you were a
Palestinian-American who won Israel's The Voice amidst the conflict?
A great significance. It showed me that music connects. That people are just people no matter their political views, religion, and nationality. I've been chosen by both Arabs and Jews, and it just proved that peace will eventually come from the people and not from governments. Love wins always!
Every American Idol, The Voice and X Factor Winner: