Italian singer Princess Bee (above) is among a new wave of European artists who are hoping to tap into the Arabian market with a song inspired by Dubai.
The bilingual single is called Dubai and it is part of the singer’s upcoming international album. Bee, whose real name is Benedetta Paravia, says she hopes it can help raise awareness of the emirate. “The single has both artistic and commercial potential, and it can help promote Dubai because it is a mix of Arabic and English,” she told Emirates Business.
Work on the song, which she has produced herself, started in 2006. “When the idea occurred to me, I asked several local companies to help me produce it, but at the time, no one was able to understand its potential. So I produced it on my own in Italy and now I can do whatever I want with it since I hold the copyright and don’t have to deal with interference from anyone,” she says. So far, she adds, she has had positive feedback for her song.
The video is set to go on air at the end of the summer and will be shot in Dubai, against the backdrop of the emirates’ cultural and tourist sights.
Princess Bee fell in love with the UAE during a visit in 2003. A PhD in law, she has since been a frequent visitor, mainly to work with SDOA, an Italian-based academic institution that specialises in management and leadership.
While here, she modelled for brands such as Cartier, Dior and Clarins, and was photographed for the cover of several regional magazines. Bee says she has made many friends on her visits to the UAE, and one of these inspired her Dubai song. “I have dedicated it to a close friend in the UAE, a 22-year-old married lady called Umm Sultan, who grew up in Dubai, a fact reflected in the song’s lyrics. Umm Sultan is likened to the city of Dubai itself since it is a young mother oriented towards the future,” she says.
Also on her forthcoming album will be Angels, a song that has become popular in Italy and other parts of the world. An initiative that was supported by Unesco and the Vatican, it is about peace in the Middle East and the video reflected how children have always been victims of conflicts.
Bee believes Dubai will become as popular as Angels. “For Angels, people asked who would be interested in causes, songs about justice or peace, but once the song and the video were produced, the feedback was astonishing and I expect the same for the song Dubai,” she says.
A proud Italian, the singer is deeply passionate about Arabic culture. “Inshallah, when I become a mother I hope God will bless me with a boy and I will give him an Arab name such as Zayed.”
She is a big fan of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the UAE. “I’m actually writing a special song dedicated to the memory of Sheikh Zayed – the only man I’ve truly and deeply admired together with Pope John Paul II.”
Busy Bee has a musical gift for Dubai