Interview conducted by Sara Aridi
Xriss Jor is a Lebanese-American singer best known for her appearances on the debut season of “The Voice Arabia.” She was born in a small Lebanese town called Yahchouch and was raised bouncing between Lebanon and Nigeria. In September 2013, Xriss was taken under legendary producer Quincy Jones’ wing after wowing him with her performance at the Dubai Music Week. Quincy Jones has been in the entertainment industry for sixty years and has worked with legendary artists including Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, and Ray Charles. To be included in his portfolio of musical endeavors is nothing short of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Birth date: 17/06/1986
Full name: Xriss Jor
Favorite singer(s): Beyoncé, Robert Plant, and Michael Bolton
Favorite band: Led Zeppelin
Q & A:
Was there a certain event or occasion that influenced your passion for singing?
When I got my first $100 for singing in a band when I was sixteen, I thought to myself, “I could get used to this.” So I did.
What was the first song you performed in front of an audience?
I must have been eight years old. My parents took my little sister and me to see “Festival Des Attractions” in Lebanon back in 1994. I saw a big stage… Well, back then it looked huge because I was tiny!
A lady on stage who was entertaining children was singing “A Whole New World” very badly. Because it was my sister and I’s favorite song, I had to rectify the situation immediately. With my mom and dad as my witnesses, I went on stage and snatched the microphone from her and continued to sing it correctly like it was nobody’s business.
How would you describe your singing style?
I like songs that bring out the best in my voice. When I sound good, I feel confident. When I’m confident, people can see it. That mostly happens when I sing Soul music (and sometimes R&B).
Who or what inspires you most?
My sister Neal is the biggest inspiration in my life. She’s a successful, extremely confident, very beautiful, and fiercely smart individual. She’s very intimidating and quite the catch. My aspirations in life are to be like her. That would make me happy.
What is your most memorable performance to date?
My most memorable performance! Wow, there are so many.
With 8è Art, the entertainment company I’ve been with for the past five years , there are two: one in the Amphitheater in Zouk Mikael, which was a couple years back, and one in Habtour Hotel I did last December.
My favorite performance at the American University of Beirut’s Outdoor festival was two years ago. Everybody was singing along like I always dreamed they would. (Except in my dream, there were about one million people in a massive stadium where fat topless men spelled my name on their bellies.)
I also always enjoy going to Egypt very much. A lot of my fans are located in Cairo and honestly, I won’t lie, I like the attention. The crowd never fails to go wild there. It’s always crazy there. I just love it.
How long were you working on your musical career before you got recognized by legendary producer Quincy Jones?
I would say around five serious me-years.
Do you have a motto that you live by?
This may not have anything to do with music but I relate it to everything.
“If you want to, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse!” The first time I heard it was from my mother… it shook me!
Will you be releasing your own album soon?
I’m not supposed to talk about it, so I’m just going to say … YES! *Wink*
What are your plans for the near future?
For now we are working on a lot of aspects in the upcoming album. We want to make sure I am 100% happy with it.
Do you have any messages for Lifestyle readers?
Join my fan-page on www.facebook.com/xrissjorofficial.
Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @xriss_jor.
Share, and thanks! 😛