A force to be reckoned with, Maya Diab is nothing short of extraordinary. With her fierce attitude, her dynamic personality and focused work ethic, Diab is slowly taking over the world, one industry at a time. Hit single after another, Diab’s music career has never been better. The remarkable diva is also recognised as one of the Middle East’s fashion icons who makes a statement with every outfit she wears. eniGma’s Radwa El Ziki got the chance to chit chat with the multitalented Lebanese prima donna about her success, her unique fashion choices, and how she balances it all.
Fame, beauty, fashion, and talent, Maya Diab is on top of her game. From fashion icon to singing sensation, the Lebanese star is not showing any signs of slowing down. Covering all her talents, from acting to TV presenting, as well as her personal style, eniGma talked to Diab to bring you a glimpse of her eccentric life.
Actually this interview was a bit of a challenge. Every time we got close to interviewing Maya Diab, something would come up and it didn’t happen. This went on for about a year. You can imagine how excited we were when we finally got the interview.
Wherever Diab goes, she causes a commotion, the good kind of course.Actress, singer, presenter, model, and fashion icon, Diab is absolutely multitalented. It’s difficult to pin down what she’s best at. She’s also modest and very friendly, making her an atypical diva. Diab sweetly put me at ease at the start of our phone conversation when she began with, “Hello love, I hope I didn’t keep you waiting.”
After participating as a contestant in Studio El Fan in 1996 and winning a gold medal to boot, Diab slowly started to move up the fame ladder. Fronting one of the biggest girl bands in the Middle East, Four Cats, Diab not only established herself as a distinguished singer, but also became one of the hottest bombshells in the Arab world. With a luminous glow, a perfect smile, and a killer fashion sense, who could dare to disagree?
But that wasn’t enough for Diab, as she decided to take on acting too. She was chosen to star, with Egyptian comedian, Hani Ramzy, in the movie Asad w Arba’ Ottat (A Lion and Four Cats) in 2007. Her performance proved that Diab, not only had acting skills, but a sense of humour as well. She later starred in a television series, Kalam Neswan (Women’s Chit-Chat) in 2009 and El Donya Heyk (The World As It Is) in 2010. Diab’s acting career was on a roll.
Diab also moved into the field of presenting with her ongoing hit television show, Heyk Menghany (That’s How We Sing), where her personal pleasant character shines through. As the presenter of the show, she allows the world to see the real Maya Diab. “It’s very spontaneous, I am myself, I do and say whatever I want,” Diab explains. “At first I didn’t know how people would react. I was scared and hesitant.” But once she got into it, Diab says that it was and still is the most exciting project she has embarked on.
In music, Diab has become a pop star and bestselling artist. With hit singles like Tawel Balak (Be Patient), Shaklek Ma Bata’ref (You Look Like You Don’t Know) and most recently, Aiwa (Yes). Likened to Lady Gaga and Madonna, she is a force to be reckoned with.
Diab says that singing is the closest to her heart. “It’s because of music that I was able to reach people, and become who I am today.” If she had to choose between the silver screen and television, Diab prefers to work in movies. “Cinema requires more effort from the audience. They have to actually go and see the movie, which makes it more valuable than something they see on television.”
Being in the spotlight, there’s much attention focused on Diab. She deals with the inevitable criticism that comes with fame in a positive manner. “I always look at the bright side; I don’t pay attention to criticism that is not constructive.” Whether it’s love or hate, Diab considers the constant attention inevitable. She regards her fans’ devotion as a ‘blessing’. “I owe it all to God, it is something he has gifted me with and I will always appreciate and cherish that.”
One thing’s for sure, Diab’s personal appearance and special sense of style always causes controversy. With her outrageous outfits, stylish picks, and the ultimate sexy ensembles that only she can wear, Diab sets the trend, before it even becomes one. “I like putting effort in the way I look, it makes me who I am.” In Diab’s humble opinion, everyone should do the same. However, she has some advice for us girls, “you should always pick the right outfit for the right occasion, with a little bit of an edge, of course.” And how do you fight the haters’ comments? “Brush it off and ignore it, be yourself!”
Despite her fame and her ridiculously busy schedule, Diab always manages to make time for her family. “They are my rock and mean everything to me.” The fashion icon tries as much as she can to balance work with being a supportive wife and a good mother to her daughter. This balance is one of the things that has contributed to her success. When you have such a winning formula you’re bound to be admired wherever you go.
COORDINATION: Maissa Azab
PHOTOGRAPHY: Sharbel BouMansour