Who is he?
Guy Manoukian is an Armenian-Lebanese musician, composer and pianist, born in 1976 in Beirut. This young contemporary Mozart began playing piano at the age of 4, and appeared on television at 6 years. Barely a year later, was he invited to play at the presidential palace to Amine Gemayel. He composed his first piece of music at 8, for which he won a competition and win an important gift, a Yamaha piano, a brand for which he remained faithful all his life.
He forgets not his Armenian and American teachers whom have enriched his early inspiration, and to whom he owes his love for music. Yet this young virtuoso that the Lebanese press describes as ” a Star of the East shining throughout the world, hesitated between basketball and music for a moment. He finally chose his art to which he dedicated himself, and keeps a place in his heart for his title of basketball player in the Lebanese Basketball League.
He performed his first solo concert at the age of sixteen. “I expected to see 400 people, but they were 1000 to attend. It warmed my heart and inspired me to give the best of me. “It’s in that moment that he realized for sure that he is meant to be a musician. Today, with his diverse musical culture, this incredibly smooth mixture between Armenian and Arabic melodies, Guy has built a reputation as much in his own country as internationally.
Although he took time to study law, the appeal of the music remained the strongest. He played concert after concert around the world, first in Sydney, Australia, and Santiago, Chile, and Cuba, and then he records with big names, in particular, A Tour with Wyclef Jean and Raoul Di Blazio and Mario Reyes of the Gypsy Kings. The concert he offered his audience at the Cairo Opera House was full. He was rewarded many times for his work, beginning with the Armenian Music Award he received in Los Angeles, the price Harem that he obtained in Lebanon in 2002, the best Dance Album of the Arabian Music Awards in Dubai in 2003. Guy Manoukian founded the production company for Manoukian music, who specializes in the design and sound effects for movies. The company also creates great concepts for emerging artists aired on television and radio. He also recorded several albums that have conquered the public, such as Senses in 1999, Sarab published in 2003, Live in Cairo in 2005 and his last, Assouman, released in 2009. His music has also been included in many major musical productions such as The “Projet REG ” (2001), “L’Arabie Night” (2006), Bellylicious (2006), “experience de l’Egypte” (2006), ” Ultimate Discotheque Orientale “(2007),” Fashion TV Arabia “(2007).
Note also his constant presence at the inauguration of great fashion boutiques, as Jaeger LeCoultre, Saks Fifth Avenue or the FashionTV Arabia.. In 2010 in particular, Guy Manoukian was appointed as the friend of Jaeger- LeCoultre. This well known brand held a cocktail party in Lebanon to announce their association and their product line. Asked about his music, Guy Manoukian says rightly: “I found in the Armenian culture, the source of my existence and my music.
Interview conducted by: Marie-Christine Tayah
1. How did it all start?
It started when I was four years old and extremely jealous from my two older brothers.
2. What was your first step to success?
My first step to success was a school concert where I played a composition I had created for my mom. My first major solo concert was in 96 and I never looked back.
3. Where do you find your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from my day to day life with all its ups and downs, it’s failures and success.
4. What are the challenges you face?
I would say juggling and managing my time between my extremely heavy schedule and lifestyle.
5. What keeps you going?
What keeps me going is my drive for perfection and success.
6. Do you consider that your art evolved?
Of course, my music is a reflection of who I am and what I feel at that exact moment, so as I grow, I change and mature… and so does my music.
7. What is the difference between you yesterday and the person you are today?
I think my kids changed me a lot. Having a family is a huge transformation, both emotionally and professionally.
8. Despite the region’s fluctuations, how do you find a way to keep up with art?
My music is international and I perform all over the world from Sydney to LA.
9. Who are you thankful to?
First to God for giving me my talent and secondly my parents who nurtured it, and now for my fans who keep me going.
10. How do you find balance between entrepreneurship, management, and art?
I think they are complementary and honestly I can’t do one without the other. I love what I do at Zardman (our real estate development company) I love Virgin Radio (our media arm) and I am totally addicted to my art… add on that a family and you get a pretty busy life.
11. Between you and your audience, what changes when you play live?
I feel their energy and I connect to them the same way they connect to me. I love my fans, we grew together and went through the same ups and downs, and we survived… I play for them.
12. Any plans to expand to Europe?
Definitely, specially through my record label Sony music, my agents all across the world and my fans.
13. Any messages to lifestyle readers?
The biggest risk you can take in life is when you don’t risk anything at all.
Guy Manoukian is a person filled with musical talent, a charismatic Lebanese/Armenian Musician, composer and an incredibly talented Pianist. He is the Superstar known as the undisputed Showman King and Master of Oriental Instrumental Music. Guy Manoukian’s last studio Album “Assouman” was a massive hit in 2009 and 2010. It was arguably Arabia’s biggest summer Album and in turn helped the album achieve GOLD status for outstanding sales in the region. A staggering 13 weeks at #1 in the official Virgin Music Store charts (Lebanon) was a start. This followed with a worldwide release and the Guy Manoukian “VIBES” Tour that witnessed numerous sold out performances in Singapore, Dubai, Australia and more. If that isn’t enough Guy has also collaborated with International Superstars like Wyclef Jean, 50 Cent, Raul Di Blasio and French Rapper Diams.
Close up on Nomad
Sony Music Entertainment Middle East and Lionheart Records recently announced the new signing of Guy Manoukian. Guy’s latest and long awaited masterpiece NOMAD is currently available in-stores on iTunes. NOMAD includes 13 mesmerizing tracks, the first part entitled “From East” which represents Guys signature blend of East meets West with tracks already nominated to be on the next Buddha Bar Album and the second part entitled “To West” showcasing Manoukians versatility and ability to produce world class hits. Tracks like “Party Forever”, “One Shot”, and “Own my Own” are tipped to be dance floor and radio smash hits and other tracks “Alexandria”, “Singapore” and “Nomad” will ensure that Guy Manoukian fans get their shares.