Lara Scandar needs no introduction. So we won’t give you one.
If you don’t know who she is, then here’s an interview with a random blonde girl who showed up at our office. We asked her questions about Skrillex, Salafis and letters written in blood…
Describe Lara Scandar in 5 words… beginning with Z.
Zlara Zscandar zis za zgirl zwho zloves zpenguins.
If we sniffed your hair, would we be transported to a fantasy world?
*We sniff hair. Nothing happens*
Are you sure you’re using Herbal Essences?
Yes! It’s the best, it makes your hair soft and smell great.
We’ve recently heard about a guy called Mohamed El Salafi who made a parody song called My Mission is Jews. How do you feel about it?
Haha it’s fine. Freedom of expression!
You’ve recently been nominated for a World Music Award. Tell us about it…
It’s for the Best Music Video award for my video for Chains. The nomination actually started through my fans who kept posting the link and voting for me, helping me make the nomination list. If I win I would be the first Egyptian female artist to ever win the award. It’s a pretty big deal, but I’m trying to keep cool and not get too hung up on it. We’ll see what happens! For me, just having my name in the international media is enough.
Do you feel like you’ve ‘made it’?
I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot for a girl my age trying to make it in the Middle East, especially since my fan base is mostly non-English speaking people. But there’s still a long way to go.
When did you first feel like you were famous?
There have been two separate moments because my situation is different due to going on Star Academy. It helped a lot because even though I hadn’t really accomplished much in terms of the music industry yet, when I landed back at Cairo Airport the amount of people who were there for me was insane! The second moment when it really hit me was when I did my first record signing at Virgin Megastores – people had come from Alexandria, Dahab and all over Egypt to meet me in Cairo. That was amazing!
Have you met any big celebrities and do you get star-struck?
Yes! I made my mum go talk to Kanye West so I could meet him! I acted like a real crazy fan!
Have you had any weird experience from fans? Aside from the letters that Waleed Mowafi wrote to you using his own blood, of course.
I had a strange experience when I first came out of Star Academy. This guy came up to me and told me he had named his twins Lara and Mohamed (after Mohamed Shoukry). It was cute, but weird! I’ve also received a few strange gifts, but the weirdest thing is, because they watched me literally 24/7 on the show, some people think they have a direct involvement in my life, telling me when to sleep, when to eat and what to wear! I’ve also had a few fans that are overly touchy-feely: one girl powered through my bouncers at my album launch and grabbed hold of me! It was a little scary, but I know they do it out of love!
The thing with being in the spotlight in the Arab world is that people will microanalyse your every move. So we want to know, what’s your favourite Pokemon?
The only one I know is the yellow one (Pikachu).
It must be hard meeting boys in your industry and trying to figure out whether they’re really into you or into your fame. Do you have someone special in your life?
No I don’t.
You really didn’t get Waleed’s letters? He passed out from blood loss last time…
Hahaha! Look, I was in a relationship when I first started out, but it isn’t easy because the nature of my work and my schedule are hard to understand and accept. I don’t believe that I can have a relationship until I know how to balance my life and I can’t do that right now because I’m studying and working and everything is a mess. It just wouldn’t be fair
Do you feel pressured by the spotlight? Do you always think twice before you do or say anything?
I do and I don’t. In my personal life, I keep to myself and I don’t like to go out that much so that makes it easy to be myself most of the time. But when I do go out and have to deal with people, I do have to think twice before I say something whether I like it or not. I have to respect the mentality of the culture in this region regardless of what my mentality is.
Have you been in a situation where something has been said about you in the media about your personal life?
Thankfully not anymore because I’ve become very careful. However, when I was in Star Academy, someone that I know went through my photos land leaked photos of me going out clubbing and drinking, so I came out finding photos of myself like that in the media, unfortunately. Obviously, the wider Middle Eastern mentality looks down upon that so it was hard to deal with at the time.
Did you have a Britney-style breakdown?
Thankfully not. I don’t think Herbal Essences would be happy if a shaved my head!
What’s your favourite restaurant at the InterContinental Semiramis? (Sponsored question)
The Grill, by far.
What kind of music do you listen to?
Surprisingly, I listen to different music than what I make. I love country music! George Jones, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban…it’s weird and not many people are into it, but country music is very touching and the lyrics are real and poetic.
Do you like Skrillex?
I don’t know what that is.
It’s a STD.
CairoScene decided to educate Lara about Skrillex through dance:
If you were driving to Gouna, what would be the one CD in your car?
Probably a mix of country songs.
What’s your beef with Taylor Swift?
Nothing! She’s every girl’s best friend. She’s not bad.
We try and get Lara to give us a bit of live country singing. Somehow we end up rapping instead:
You seem nervous and giggly. Is this how you act on stage?!
I actually can’t perform around four or five people, but in front of thousands I can. When I have a large crowd it’s when I feel the most comfortable. I had a concert this summer that was about 20,000 people, it was insane!
Do you know any producers that you can introduce us to? Would they be interested in producing our country/rap songs?
I think my producer would do it! He’s always looking for new talent and interesting sounds. ACTUALLY, the new song I’m working n has a little bit of Dubstep in it!
So you don’t know who Skrillex is but there’s Dubstep in your next song? Typical. Do your producers manufacture your personality too?
Yes. The laughter is fake.
OUCH. Anyway, what are your future plans?
Thankfully my debut album is still doing well and I’m about to shoot two new videos, one for an Arabic song and one for an English song. Then it’s the World Music Awards!
Do you have a date for the awards ceremony?
*She points at Waleed and Timmy. They fight*
How about both Waleed and Timmy carry you, acting as a walking throne?
That would be great!
When Waleed was a kid, he wet himself in the communal shower at boarding school and blamed it on a disabled kid called Harry Clasper. He’s always regretted it. Have you ever regretted anything?
Obviously, yes but I tend not to dwell on it.
Do you regret this interview?
I don’t right now. Not yet, haha!
Keep up to date with Lara Scandar check out http://www.larascandar.com, follow her @LaraCScandarand vote for her video for the World Music Awards by going to https://www.facebook.com/officialWMA, like the page, post the link to her video and write #WMAForLara on their wall!