Based in Denver, Colorado, Lebanese musician Mona Ayoub, who goes by Mona Eye-yoob, is the leader of the band Eye-yoob & Les Américains.
The band, which curates different blends and genres from R&B/Soul and Pop to Rai and Levant music, is now releasing a heartfelt tribute to Beirut ahead of the anniversary of the August 4 Beirut Port explosion.
In an interview with The961, Mona said that having a band where all the musicians are Americans playing oriental, Middle Eastern, and North African music is a wonderful cultural interaction through music.
What’s better is that their American audience and fan base absolutely love the music and cover songs that they perform, especially songs that infuse different languages, such as “Aicha,” “Didi,” and “Yalla habibi.”
“It’s such a heart-fulfilling experience to see people from different cultures dance and sing with you no matter what language are you speaking. This is when you know you’ve touched your audience’s soul with your music,” Mona told us.
Written in the wake of the blast, the song ‘Be Beirut’ has a special place in Mona’s heart and soul, she told The961. She diverted sadness and sorrow into a song full of energy, love, and positivity.
“Be Beirut differs from my other songs in its writing techniques, its music production, and its vibe. It’s the first time I used the channeling technique in my songs,” she said, explaining “I am embodying my country, Lebanon, as my beloved, and addressing them in the city that never sleeps, Beirut, as I long for the good old days.”
Be Beirut is also a skill milestone for Mona because it’s the first time she mixes Lebanese and English languages in an original recording, she told us.
To produce, mix, and master the song, Mona sought the expertise of Lebanese-Spanish singer/songwriter Nicolas Challhoub’s Eleven Records Studios. In Colorado, she worked with Taylor Hahn’s Hahn Audio, with whom she said she had a wonderful experience recording her vocals.
Mona also collaborated with Lebanese photographer Rami Rizk to get some photos of Beirut to promote the song.
“I wanted to help my Lebanese people and boost the economy in my own way whether by having the song played on radios or by collaborating with local photographer and using his images of Beirut,” she told us.
The961 had the opportunity to listen to ‘Be Beirut’ before its official release and its upbeat pop-genre sound will leave you smiling!
The song will be out on three radios in Lebanon and all digital music distribution apps on the 23rd of July. Meanwhile, you can listen to it here: