Hamed Sinno is the lead singer of the band Mashrou’ Leila, whose songs of love and life in Lebanon have gained them a wide following throughout the region. He was born in Beirut in 1988 and still lives there.
Mashrou’ Leila recently returned from Montreal, Canada where they recorded their third album, Raasuk, set for release later this year.
Q: Describe a typical day.
A: I freelance, so I’m quite inconsistent.
Q: What was the last thing you bought?
A: Book. “Cockroach,” Rawi Hage.
Q: Describe Lebanon in five words.
A: Five will not be enough.
Q: If you could change one thing about Lebanon, what would it be?
A: It’s ugly.
Q: Who was the last person you spoke to?
A: Maya Moumneh [graphic designer and co-founder of Cinema House Furniture].
Q: What’s your earliest memory?
A: Sitting on the balcony with my mother at sunrise.
Q: What did you want to be as a child?
A: A singer.
Q: Were you a good student?
A: No, I had a very bad case of ADHD. I was a good student in the classes I liked, like chemistry and English.
Q: What advice would you give your younger self?
Q: What is the most valuable thing your parents or grandparents taught you?
A: My father always used to say that at the end of the day there’s no one to blame but myself.
Q: How do you think people describe you?
A: I often hear that people who don’t know me think I’m arrogant.
Q: If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
Q: What’s the best item of clothing you’ve ever owned?
A: A vintage Yves Saint Laurent tailcoat.
Q: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
A: Quit my job to make music.
Q: If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be?
A: Art director.
Q: What do you look forward to?
A: Launching my album.
Q: How do you sleep?
A: On my sofa. I hate beds for some reason.
Q: How often do you laugh?
A: Very often.
Q: What’s your party trick?
A: I can make a lot of booze disappear.
Q: Skiing or swimming?
A: Depends on the season.
Q: Happiness is ...
Q: Which historical figure would you choose to go for coffee with?
A: Kurt Cobain and Allen Ginsberg. Together.
Q: Do you read your star sign?
Q: What’s your favorite word?