Short Stop...With Lina Makhoul

Lina Makhoul

After winning “The Voice” Israel in 2012, the talented Lina Makhoul has added some high profile names to her fans base, including Alicia Keys, Brian May and Adam Lambert. 

Not only is Lina an extremely talented woman, she is a charismatic and spirited artist with a great personality and a burning ambition to succeed. I enjoyed being able to talk to her about her upcoming single, as well as her time on The Voice and how that has changed her life as a musician. There are a lot of artists I appreciate and enjoy listening to and Lina is now on the list.

Can you start by telling me a little about your early years - did you always have a love of music?

“I’ve always had an interest in performing and creative arts. For example, I started piano lessons at age 4 and took ballet lessons in my younger years. It wasn’t until I reached 16 that I really started singing properly, however from there I began taking my music much more seriously. I also grew up in a creative family, but it wasn’t until I was told I could sing that I realised the potential I had. I remember my first performance was at the conservatoire in Israel where I sang “Almost Lover” at the age of 16.”

What did you listen to as a teenager? Who were your influences? Favourite artists?

“I mainly listened to the tracks on MTV as I enjoyed watching the videos and was a big fan of popular music, plus there wasn’t much else to listen to. I’ve always loved pop music and I’m in awe of Alicia Keys, so for her to recognise me in the music industry is a big deal for me.”

What was your main career ambition when you were at school? Was there a moment where you realised that music was what you wanted to do for the rest of your career?

“To begin with I wanted to go into medicine which then lead to me going to university to study Biology which I got my degree in. However I still knew that I wanted to pursue my music career as well.”

After finishing the voice and successfully taking the winning position, when was it that your music career really began to take shape?

“My career started to take shape 2 years after winning the show and getting signed. I felt like my career was already developing whilst I was on “The Voice” as I was taking my music much more seriously than I had previously.”

Were your parents and family supportive of your career ambitions?

“My parents and my family in general have always been supportive of my career choices and my parents have been my biggest critics so I feel that I have made them proud. As I’ve always had an interest in performing I think they realised what it was I wanted to do, so they were very supportive of my choices.”

The industry has changed quite a bit in the last 20 years. Do you think it is harder now to make a career out of music?

“I do think that it’s always getting harder for people to move into this industry because of the number of artists out there. Not only do many sound the same, there are also some who are too afraid to take on the work.”

The rise of social media and the Internet has also changed the way musicians interact with their fans. Are you a big advocate of social media?

“Personally, I feel that the rise of social media has made it harder for musicians to get into the industry as there are so many people online it’s hard to be noticed. However I do feel that it’s a very good way of communicating with fans and is a positive self-promotion tool.”

Are there any artists that you look up to or would love to perform with? I understand that you have some interesting fans, including the likes of Alicia Keys, Brian May and Adam Lambert, have you been in contact with these artists whatsoever?

“I’m a big fan of Ed Sheeran and Alicia Keys so I look up to them as they have come so far and managed to achieve what they wanted from their careers in music and are still going on.”

Outside of your career, what do you do to relax and unwind?

“I like to watch TV mainly but to be honest I don’t really have any free time, I’m constantly working, so my free time is very limited.”

Do you have a favourite food? Do you enjoy cooking?

“I’m a big fan of sushi. I’ve tried out some really nice sushi restaurants since I’ve been here in London, so I’m definitely enjoying my time here.”

What’s your favourite film?

“I’m more of a series fan to be honest, I watch Game of Thrones and I’m really into Westworld as well.”

What’s your star sign?

“Cancer.”

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in the music business today?

“If you really want to get into the music business you need to be determined because it can be tough and scary.”

A lot of people put down the voice and other similar shows, but what's your opinion on the overall concept of televised talent shows?

“Obviously I’m a big fan of The Voice and similar shows as they are the reason for my success, so I personally feel that they are a good way to get into the industry.”

What can people expect from your upcoming single?

“People can expect to be dancing along to this one and singing it over and over again. I’m very excited about this one, it’s been in my head repeatedly, I’m in love with it.”

You can find Lina on Instagram - @linamusicofficial , Facebook - Leena Makhoul Official or Youtube - LINA.

Zach Antonio