Talaat Zain... the voice that abandoned singing

Talaat Zain… the voice that abandoned singing

Eleven years have passed since the departure of the Egyptian artist Talaat Zein (1955 – 2011), and his works and artistic biography are still unknown to many in Egypt and abroad. Perhaps the reason for this ignorance is due to the nature of the path that Zain chose for himself, as he lived his life, relatively short, indifferent to stardom or fame, and linked to music as a joyful and creative industry, creating a loving and friendly relationship with his audience, away from the conflicts that ruled the music scene since the seventies of the last century. .
The artist, born in the city of Alexandria, moved between singing in an independent group and singing solo in English, then singing in Arabic, then acting in secondary roles, then succeeding in cinema, and he is between all these stages with the same passion, pleasure and love.

Zain was born to a father and a mother who were interested in music, especially Western music, and she was present in the various stages of his upbringing. In the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alexandria, which he entered to study, he kept pace with the changes that occurred in the music scene in Egypt, and the beginning of the emergence of independent bands affected by the global wave of music, so Talaat joined the “Dreams” band, to be the beginning of his launch in the world of Western singing.
Then came the major shift in his career, i.e. joining the most important singing group in Egypt at that stage, “Les Petits Chats”, which was one of the first local bands, and included a group of the most important musicians such as Omar Khairat, Izzat Abu Auf, and Omar Khorshid, Sadiq al-Qalini, and Wagdy Francis.

In 1982, he withdrew from the famous band and joined the band “Transit Back” with Ayman Abu Seif, Amr Khairy and Ashraf Al Mahrous, who will become one of the most important distributors in the coming years until now. With the accumulated successes achieved by the bands, and the brightness of the name Zain, he got a solo artistic segment at the “Piano Piano” restaurant in 1985, after which the period of decline of Western bands began, and the Egyptian pop singing progressed with a group of young artists.

The success of “Recein”

Also in the eighties, Zain made his first participation in a cinematic work in the movie “Tusks” (1981) along with Ahmed Adawiya and Ali Al-Hajjar. But all of the above can be put in one hand, and his appearance with Amr Diab in 1995 in a second hand. In that year, Tarek El-Arian chose to shoot a video clip for Amr Diab’s song “Raj’in” (words by Medhat El-Adl, composed by Riad El-Hamshari) in a special way. The video began with Talaat Zain chanting, “Come, come, O beloved of life, come,” while the picture is in black and white.

Amr’s clip brought together many of the stars of the first bands in Egypt. In addition to Talaat Zain, there was Ezzat Abu Auf and Hussein Al-Imam, but Zain captivated everyone with his beautiful voice, different from the one prevailing at that time on the singing scene. Soon, the Delta Voice Company and Medhat Al-Adl decided to take advantage of this success and present Talaat Zain in his own album under the name “God Almighty”, so that Al-Adl completed writing the song’s lyrics in a different way, composed and distributed by Ashraf Mahrous.

Two faded albums

Of course, the song succeeded, especially with the video clip. The album collected many different experiences, including the experience of singing international melodies such as the melody of “Macarena” (the Arabic lyrics for the song Omar Adel) were written under the name “Ahla Oyoun”, and the song achieved a great success at that time. However, despite the song’s popularity, the album seemed lost, and the tunes and arrangements did not know how to present Talaat Zain’s unique voice to the audience.
The success of “Ahla Oyoun” prompted Tic Zain to restore the song “Tic, Tic Tac” by the Brazilian band Carrapicho, in his second album in 1996. The poet Adel Omar changed its title to “Tiki Ta”, and Tarek Madkour formulated the musical vision, and it was also filmed in a video clip. Talaat Zain also brought back the song “Should I Leave”, as the album’s romantic song. In its Arabic version, it bore the title “Fadel Eh”, but this time the Egyptian artist sang the two versions, meaning the English and the Egyptian.

Like the first album, the rest of the album’s songs were lost trying to satisfy the market in a decade in which competition intensified, as the various lyrical choices seemed inappropriate for Zain’s voice or the image he had established in the minds of the public. Therefore, Zain gradually began withdrawing into the world of singing and music, participating in minor roles in films and series in the nineties, leading to his prominent role in the movie “Africano” (2001 directed by Amr Arafa, starring Ahmed El Sakka and Mona Zaki). After this movie, Zain participated in cinematic works and succeeded in them, becoming an actor only, preferring to stay away from singing. Among the films in which he participated are “Dreams of Our Life” (2005, directed by Othman Abu Laban, starring Mona Zaki, Menna Shalaby, Ramez Jalal and Mustafa Shaaban), and “The Dealer” (2010, directed by Ahmed Saleh and starring Ahmed Al-Sakka, Khaled Al-Nabawi and May Selim).
However, although his last years of work were associated with cinema, when recalling Talaat Zain’s biography today, more than a decade after his departure, his image as a singer appears first, with his black and white image, chanting, “Exalted be He, the Exalted, the beloved of life, the Most High,” despite his long distance from music.

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