Between friends and music lovers, Paul Ghantous is defined as a Musician, more specifically, as a Guitarist and a Singer; yet behind the name, illustrates an affectionate character, a fellow with substantial integrity and an ardent musician.
I sat down with Paul and asked him a couple of questions to understand what sort of individual is he; what drives him, and what makes him so devoted to music, especially in a country where musicians suffer to deliver a piece of their soul to the general public.
Tell us a little about yourself
Well, I am 32 years old; music has always been part of who I am. I learned how to play the Classical Guitar and reached the Baccalaureate level, but I couldn't continue the degree because of some personal issues. Later on, I began studying Jazz Theory at the Lebanese Conservatory and I am still a student there. As far as University goes; I have an M1 Degree in Music Education. I've also learned how to play on a couple of instruments such as the Piano, Oud, Nay, Recorder and Vocals and off course I've studied sight-singing, sight reading, rhythm, and harmony.
What Music gets you excited and why?
I love Classical Music because I firmly believe that it is just perfect. I also am severely fond of Jazz Music because it is rich with feelings, melodies and characters; and off-course Rock because it reminds me of the good old' days!
What drew you to the Music industry?
I've loved Music ever since I was a toddler and it purely dominates over me. I used to sing from when I was a child and even until now, I am always musically curious and want to learn something new. Let's just say that I am musically spell-bound.
I know that you have a magnificent singing voice; are you planning on pursuing a career in singing, or do you prefer sticking to the guitar or any tangible instrument?
Thank you for your kind words. Yes, but I would prefer to keep the singing aspect as something for fun; I still prefer to work on the guitar more as it has always been my first instrument of choice. Combing them though is the best thing that I've done.
Are you part of a Band?
Yes, I have a band called "Triangle". It's an acoustic band that consists of an Oud player, a percussionist and myself as the guitarist and vocalist. Our repertoire is a variety of numbers; we cover everything from Jazz, Funk, Rock, Blues to Oriental. At the moment, we are not performing a lot but we do play in private events and pubs.
You are also a Guitar Teacher; which student levels do you teach?
I teach from Grade 1 until Grade 5, according to the Rating of the Lebanese Conservatory.
Who are your top three musical influences, and why is that?
That's a hard question honestly. Well, Ella Fitzgerald because of the warmth she brings out when singing; Mozart because he teaches you that music is all about simplicity, and Guitarist Jhon Williams whom I believe is the best reference.
Who or what stands between you and your dream goal?
What is your greatest Music challenge?
Time. I never have enough time to achieve what I want to.
Do you collaborate with others?
Yes, off-course. And I am open to anyone who would like to collaborate with me.
What is your favorite part of this line of work? Your least favorite? and why?
The best thing about it is that I am working in what I love, it is my entire lifestyle. As for my least favorite part, it definitely has to do with the financial aspect; the worst thing, in my opinion, is when you relate money with what you love to do.
Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?
Yes, off-course! It is the hardest thing to get cured from, but at the same time, it has it's positive aspects if you know how to control it.
Finally, what advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Don't get distracted by society. Keep on following your passion and your dreams and never compare yourself or try to imitate another musician; just do it your way and with what you have. Be you.