Things, suffice to say, did not start easily for Libyan singer and pop artist Bahjat. He recalls, “As an Arab with global ambitions, I’ve always received pushback for being ‘too ambitious for my reality.’ If no one had ‘made it from Libya, why would I ever stand a chance? Why would a refugee with no connections succeed as an artist? Why ‘waste’ the time?’“
He’s all but spit in naysayers faces, with his breakthrough single, “Istanbul” helping him rack up over 35M streams and 150M+ YouTube views. In the space of a moment, he became one of the most promising acts to hail from his region.
His latest, “Aladdin”, is pure pop, drawing influence from the Backstreet Boys to BTS. Speaking on the track, he shares, “I had the title ‘Aladdin’ in my head for years before finally writing it into this song. When I thought a bit more about Aladdin’s story, and the way it’s virtually the only Arab story to go mainstream, I found it to be interesting how it’s still a story of a big trouble-maker. Is that the first impression kids make about us Arabs? Does it deepen the already-negative stereotypes about us? As I pondered over those thoughts, I decided to take that narrative and focus it the ambition aspect of it. As a refugee, I had to lose everything before realizing that when you have nothing else to lose, you have everything to gain.“
The second single from his upcoming EP, A-POP, check “Aladdin” out below or on streamers, and stay tuned for more from Bahjat very soon.