Featured image by Mustufa Youssef
Up and coming talent Hayet El Mir just finished a Michael Jackson inspired show by Top Dog Entertainment in Cyprus and will make her debut in a new resident show by AB Casting set in Benidorm, Spain. Her first music video: Dance to Unite, will have you up on your feet in no time! Keep your eyes on this beauty and put her on your radar, because she is bound to be a Star.
Born and raised in the very heart of Sweden with family heritage from Lebanon, Hayet began her career at an early age by combining her cultural heritage with a God-given talent through singing, acting and dancing. Inspired by the likes of Michael & Janet Jackson-, Fugees-, and Mariah Carey as well as Arabic music, Hayet would use that inspiration to win several singing competitions at age eleven and attend prestigious music schools in the years to come.
In addition to building her artistry, she joined a choir group, “Team Gladys” on a Tv-show called ”Körslaget”, where she also was the choreographer. She was given the title ”Swedish Female Karaoke Champion”, competing against over 50 countries from around the world. She continued to grow in her dance career participating in street dance groups, “Massive Flow” from Sweden and “Spray Can” Lebanon while battling and taking classes from some of the best dancers in Los Angeles. She left everything behind and moved to Hollywood pursuing her dreams and goals as an artist.
“I am here to resurrect the empowerment of female artists in bringing back the fun of Pop/Funk/RnB music.”
Your first connection to Hip Hop?
“My first connection to Hip Hop was actually growing up in a musical family. My grandma played the Oud (guitar) and wrote songs and danced, my mom sang & danced and at birthday parties my uncles would break, my brothers would sing, rap & perform and I knew every lyric and dance move to every song on the MTV channel.”
“Kriss Kross’ song: ‘Jump’ was one of my favorite songs and I would memorize Tupac’s verses.”
How has it evolved?
“In my teens, I was performing original songs with a friend of mine at an event we had arranged. Our names were ‘DaFightas’ and that was the first time I saw bboys getting down. It happened during our performance, so I had to wait until after the show to jump in with them even though I had no idea what I was doing. Later on, they invited me to come practice with them and I’ve been breaking ever since.”
“My love for Hiphop grew stronger so I researched a lot and watched documentaries, expanded my vocabulary, studied the Zulu Nation and gained knowledge, wisdom and overstanding about HipHop culture. That really helped me to figure out how to give back to the community. Something that was very enriching and enlightening. I began emceeing, songwriting, recording, and choreographing all in building my artistry through my passion, to empower other women.”
You are huge admirer of Michael Jackson. What is the most valuable thing anyone can take away from his art?
“We can learn so much from the King. No matter how successful he got, he remained humble and his character was incredibly giving and loving. He was immensely hardworking and he kept that focus. He really changed the world for the better. As for his art I’ll quote: ‘‘The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work”. Michael always studied the greatest, to create his own flavor and we should do the same.”
You are from the Middle East, have lived in Europe and in America. What are your views on the state of the world?
Being born in Sweden I felt that I couldn’t really ‘fit in’. I didn’t look the same and I was very different in comparison, yet Sweden does make everyone feel equal. I love that country because of it’s hospitality, the lack of judgmental attitudes and how open minded it is up there.”
“In the United States I felt accepted regardless of who I am, how I want to be and that I could create amazing opportunities all around.”
“I also love the States because the people are very understanding. Lebanese people are very friendly as well. Caring, helpful. If something happens to you as a stranger, outsider or foreigner for example, people will have your back. Helping is a norm. Being born in Sweden while being Lebanese and traveling through and living in America for some time, has been enriching in lots of different ways. There was cultural diversity, also in terms of norms and values of course, but it’s so beautiful to see that despite our differences we are all connected and united.
“We are -one- no matter where we are from. We all come from the same Source.”
Differences in views on Hip Hop?
“In Lebanon, if someone does a show in the streets, they are usually mocked. People haven’t yet gotten to the point where they value the dance scene. It’s getting there. They do appreciate graffiti and DJ-ing, though. Emceeing is cool but only in specific locations. The community is growing (slowly), through events and dedicated leaders. One great thing about Sweden and America for example, is that you can receive sponsorship for doing events, etcetera. Don’t take that for granted.”
“In Lebanon it’s really hard to gain finances. Other than that it’s the same loving culture. People enjoy life by losing themselves for a while, doing something they love.”
When in Lebanon: what to visit?
“There are lots of dance academies to visit. Places to enjoy yourself would be: Baakline for rivers and lakes. Harisa ”The Lady Of Lebanon” for the perfect view. Byblos for seafood, gorgeous beaches, pools and parties. Rawshe or Zaytouna Bay for romantic walks. Radio Beirut, O1 or Mandaloun for NightLife, just to name a few. Baalbek Festival to see a concert, City center Mall for Shopping, El Arez to see the unique cedar/pine trees and finally: Jounieh for fly boarding.”
Life as an Aquarius
“I tend to get stuck on one idea, to the point of obsession. It can be hard for people around to respect my mental focus but I enjoy inventing creative ideas, having an open and free mind while traveling like a gypsy.”
What is the best thing your mother or another female figure has given you?
“My mom and all mothers in general are so strong and amazing. Even though my mother has given me a lot of great advice in the past, one thing I always remember is:
“Be yourself. Simple as that. Live to inspire. No one can be you. You don’t need to prove anything. As long as you’re trying your very best.”
How did you establish your balance in exposing yourself to the public eye, in a time where women seem to be objectified more and more everyday?
“I’m confident and comfortable in my sexuality. In simply being me. Nowadays as women we ‘have to’ be so many things. The influence of social media intensifies that, it can be overwhelming and depressing because we tend to compare ourselves.”
“I think if women understood that their imperfections are what makes them perfect and unique; if we would collectively accept ourselves for more than just a body and stand up for our values, we would be respected more.”
Have you ever taken advice from another realm?
“I have received visions which made me more cautious and one time I saw my grandfather who passed away, in a dream. He told me: ”Get up and pray now! Pray!” While waking up, I remembered his face and his words. I got down on my knees instantly, prayed and I cried.”
What would you advise your younger (artistic) self?
“Listen young girl, focus on your goals! Dream grant and don’t give up on yourself nor your dreams, for anyone!”
Where will you visit next?
“There are so many countries I need to visit like the Phillipines, Brazil, Singapore, etcetera. Yet, I would love to visit The House Of God: Kaaba in Mekka, to pray with my brothers and sisters, Insh’Allah (God willing). I just came from Cyprus. It was a dream come true to perform as Michael Jackson on such a beautiful island! From October 2017 until March 2018, I am bound to Spain because I will be performing shows in Benidorm! I’m so excited to visit that country and grateful for this new opportunity.”
As an artist, what is on your bucket-list?
“All I ever think of is performing in front of big huge crowds to inspire and bring joy to people. It’s all I want to do.
“I feel like God has blessed me with this gift. Something that I was born to do.”
I don’t feel alive when I’m not on stage singing and dancing. Also, as long as I can see and embrace my mother; that to me, is true happiness.”
For more information about the resident show in Benidorm #Hayenas can follow Hayet on www.hayetofficial.com