Mayssa Karaa with her captivating multi-octave voice and persuasive cross-cultural messages defines a new era of musical inclusion. Her songs tell of a journey connecting her origins in the ancient land of Lebanon to her adopted home of Los Angeles, California. She is about to launch her full-length English solo debut, Simple Cure.
Growing up in Lebanon, Mayssa Karaa was trained in classical music. While she loved singing, a future in civil engineering was her life plan. It was the sage advice of a French conductor that guided her to a professional music career. “He told me, ‘When you meet God he’s going to tell you, ‘I gave you a gift– what did you do with it?’ That was the turning point in my career. Fortunately, my dad had already applied to Berklee College of Music in Boston for me and had an audition set up.”
On Simple Cure, Mayssa Karaa says that most of her lyrics have their origins in conversations. “I would speak with my producer Richard Jacques, tell him something that I remembered, and we would come up with the lines and hooks to relate these stories.” When you put all the songs of the album together, you will understand the full story that lays behind.
The songs range from piano based simplicity to epic electronic orchestration. Among the highlights is “Simple Cure,” which speaks to finding peace through the miraculous power of inner strength, even in the chaos of a modern world. As Mayssa Karaa sings, “Step in the air, breathe in the stars, the simple cure is every heart.”
Cinema audiences might identify Mayssa Karaa’s voice from the hit film American Hustle, where her Arabic version of the ‘60s classic “White Rabbit” was a standout track on the Grammy®-nominated soundtrack album. Television audiences might recognize her from the popular PBS Special, Enrico Caruso: His Life, His Cities, His Music, featuring Placido Domingo in Naples. (She is also featured in the follow-up that was released in the Spring of 2018.) International families might identify her with “The Arabic Alphabet Song” from Sesame Street that generated over 22 million YouTube views.
Melding Arabic influences into Western music is Mayssa’s forte: notable recordings in her catalog include a version of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” accompanied by the band’s Scott Page, to which both Roger Waters and David Gilmour granted their blessings. Mayssa traveled to Detroit, Michigan to honor Rock & Roll Hall of Fame legend Bob Seger. Fronting a band organized by the distinguished producer Don Was, she performed a haunting version of Seger’s “Turn the Page” in both English and Arabic during the 22nd Annual “Concert Of Colors” in 2014 at the Orchestra Hall in Detroit, MI.