Five Huge Hits You Didn’t Know Were Produced by Jean-Marie Riachi
Lebanese arranger, composer and producer Jean-Marie Riachi has enjoyed a stellar career working with most of the biggest names in Arabic pop music. He’s the musical director and producer of the Arabic version of The Voice and runs his own studio (JMR Studios) and label (Oriental Music Publishing).
But producers don’t always get public recognition for their work, and chances are you might not even know Jean-Marie was involved in many of the biggest hits he’s worked on. So here’s just a selection of hugely successful songs produced by Jean-Marie:
“Eetazalt El Gharam” – Majida El Roumi
After an eight-year absence, and following a tumultuous divorce in 2006, Lebanese diva Majida El Roumi took the Arab world by storm with a comeback track that was as monumental as the signatures it bore. Produced by Jean-Marie, “Eetazalt El Gharam” (‘I Quit Love’) was co-written with Nizar Francis, and composed by the legendary ‘Abou Majd’ Melhem Barakat.
“Mabrouk Mabrouk” – Ramy Ayach
If you’ve set foot in a wedding in Lebanon, Syria or Jordan in the last 10 years, chances are this earworm is still stubbornly stuck in your head. Upon its release in 2004, “Mabrouk Mabrouk”, composed and produced by Jean-Marie, instantly became the most popular wedding anthem of the Levant.
“Belaaks” – Abeer Nehme & Ramy Ayach
“Ayshalak” – Elissa
Two things we should be thankful to 2002’s “Ayshalak” for – Number One: Proving that post-Nineties Arabic pop music could still be inventive, bold, and stand the test of time. Number Two: Placing Elissa on the World Music map, leading to her notorious WMA “Best Album” acceptance speech, the “Thanks” of which still resonate in Lebanese popular culture until this day.
“Sahara Al-Arab” – Ardi Group
Jean-Marie doesn’t only produce mainstream megahits, though. He’s also behind the latest album from Lebanese indie band Adonis – who will perform at STEP Music on April 7th – for example. Check out this single they released last year:
“Eza Shi Nhar” – Adonis
Jean-Marie Riachi will also be appearing at STEP Music, speaking on a panel about the rise of the Arab alternative music scene and its impact on the regional industry. You can get your tickets for STEP Music here: