Archive

Music

Screen Shot 2013-07-17 at 11.56.43 AM

Our farewell post. Bring some tissues, a polka-dotted dress and make sure to read each admins words to you. Cheers! 

By Admin I: It has been a long journey, 300 posts in less than 2 years, features in Communicate, ArabAd and The Daily Star, a workshop and an event at Beirut Design Week 2013. We have never imagined that a group of young creatives voicing out their opinions can actually change anything, yet we did. We have never imagined that a stupid blog can make a breakthrough in multinationals, be included in their reports, give them nightmares and push their orthodox boundaries, yet we did.

We’re not bragging here (okay, we are), but we’re actually having a moment with what we were able to achieve, whether in reviews or in research. We’re here celebrating the subjectivity that had once a voice, the hidden identity that was never aimed at self-promotion and all the hypocrisy we faced, especially from the Design and social media Mafia™.

This whole experience was as awesome as awesomeness can get, we grew with it and out of it; now we’re a group that knows more, and has more to say elsewhere.

There is no legitimate official reason, and it’s certainly NOT related to any mafia’s threats or pressure. Brofessional Review reached an end!

Thank you all!

By N:  Brofessional review was never a side project, we were not admins in this blog; we were brofessionals. Brofessional review came as a manifestation of our own personal journey in the design spectrum. When it first started, when we decided that we were going to start reviewing what was happening in the design/communication field in the country, we were just starting ourselves our own journeys as designers. With fresh minds and enthusiastic eyes, we delved in this journey and we grew as individuals and designers, so did the blog. And let me tell you, this journey was magic, it took us places, exposed us to works and introduced us to people that otherwise couldn’t have happened.

Through our journey in the design galaxy we met lots of jedis. Here’s a huge spazzy appreciation hug to everyone who supported us and believed in us as we stumbled through this path. Hugs to the people we met, the knowledge they passed on and their pompom cheers.

I probably was the most bipolar among brofessionals. I left, then I came, then I left then I started to write occasional out-of-the-blue posts, and then I simply became N (dropping the admin like diddy dropped the puff).But I love every single moment I spent with the blog and its admins. Hugs to them all, we taught ourselves lifetime lessons.

But what’s a cosmic journey without stormtroopers? Despite our attempt to make it clear, people still took us too seriously. Haters were spawning everywhere accusing us of the most notorious thing, like we ever claimed to be anything other than a bunch of kids with loud opinions. But hey, even Madonna managed to get haters during her erotica phase (not that we are, in any way, comparing ourselves to the queen). And since Ziggy doodle was preaching about the power of love in her TEDx talk, here’s a hug to all of you, may it merge my hateful poison with yours and create a dragon of pixie dust and rainbows. You guys taught me that in this world you either have to be a wolf or a sheep, but I didn’t like your system nor your rules, so I became a hippo.

Until we meet again,

May design be one day resurrected.

Love and cake.

I was once a brofessional, and you guys took me way too seriously.

By Admin NK: WARNING: This post has some serious emotional hate with so much love towards Admin I.

So when I first heard the news, I thought Admin I was being silly, but then I found out that he was serious and I only wished I was in the same continent where he was so I could punch him in the face. Before being an admin, I was a huge fan of Brofessional Review where I used to read and enjoy their old and latest posts until I got requested to be an admin in the blog, it was pretty much one of the happiest moments of my life. Being in the brofessional community was what I always wanted: freely expressing our opinions and most importantly critiquing what we don´t like and what we found impressive in this Lebanese chaos that we call design and advertising. Agencies loved us, even people from abroad were enjoying our posts, and at the same time we received hate comments from people not accepting what we´re doing, not accepting an opinion, and not accepting their identity mentioned by a bunch of brofessionals whom choice is to critique instead of causing drama. But again, unfortunately and with so much pity, this is the Lebanese Chaos community after all. And I could only say that this blog was a brave win-win!
I will miss writing reviews, I will miss reading the awesome posts from the admins, and I will definitely miss saying “holy shit I can´t wait to see what Brofessional Review has to say about this”
With all the love and the disappointment I have right now, Admin NK.
By Admin HY:  Being the youngest between all these admins, I had another take on Brofessional Review.  Some praised it, some ignored it, Agencies took it as a reference and kept refreshing our home page all day.Others didn’t get the point behind the blog and decided to dig deep to know who’s behind it
Some awesome people shared. liked, discussed, agreed, disagreed, opened discussions and embraced the whole idea behind the blog.For me, BR was all about EXPOSURE! I would have never been as exposed to the design and advertising scene in Lebanon if it wasn’t for the blog. And that doesn’t apply to me only! BR helped hundreds of readers, from students, to designers and creatives to be exposed to what’s happening around them (Opinions aside) and gave the chance to argue, take the admin’s opinion into consideration and express their own thoughts!
Being surroudned by design and advertising students for most of the times it was such a magical feelings to see them discuss and question a campaign or an illustration, just because BR showcased it. Brofessional Review was a jounrey of a lifetime, I started as a reader and moved as a occasional contributor.

Last note to our readers: No matter who you are, how good you are and wherever you work or study, if you don’t know what’s happening outside, you’re nothing! (it’s a jungle out there) (ok that was very dramatic) (ok sorry I’ll clam down)

Loads of love,

The Brofessionals. 

Tarek Chemaly and a positive ‘WTH’!

By Admin I: First of all, we’d be lucky as a blog if you’re loyal brofessional readers, and you’ve never heard about Tarek Chemaly! Evil laugh gets cut by reality: who in this field doesn’t know the guy behind Beirut ntsc, a blog that started years ago, and managed to become a reference to the advertising field. Tarek is a blogger, instructor, and a very eclectic visual artist as well; yes, we’re stating it! You might have considered his visual works (mainly produced with paint brush and co softwares) primitive, poor or just amateurs, but call me weird, I do honestly think that this guy managed to make a very unique line of visual works, something very pop, kitsch, not the commercial way, but the very personalized!

This wicked visual interpretation came even more experimental with the release of many videos, such as ‘Moulinex el Hobb’ that got online only 2 weeks ago: the video is a mix and (mis)match of images, because to Tarek, the whole approach came as a reminder to how radio stations were submerging the mass with happy-go-lucky songs, while they were actually hearing them in the shelter – hence the sometimes dark mood of the video.
Interestingly, it is also a reach out to the fake-nostalgia of Lebanon (Switzerland of the Middle East and all that fallacy) as everyone is trying to romanticize a past which probably never was there (Or was there for a certain elite which was living in a bubble).

Tarek states: the bottom line is always the same: In a country so deeply divided, where everything is polarized, going back to pop culture (songs, advertising jingles, brands) could be a way to link us all back to one another through a collective memory which is the mesh of the fiber of society.

‘Moulinex el Hobb’, a 14-minute long musical is an engaging experimental piece emerging from
the 80s with the most popular hits being incorporated in a monologue about a Lebanese macho man’s (mis)adventures with women. This comes as a sequel to popular monologues about advertising jingles released earlier along with many other visual attempts.

So to set things straight, we are not here advertising Chemaly as an individual (he’s a competitor you know, *hairflip*) and we’re super certain that the guy can advertize himself quite well; we’re just exposing what we think is an interesting visual attempt, a merge between cultural design and a reach to narrative and innovative storytelling techniques. Pop art should remain pop, done by whoever decides to experiment and addressing a social collective memory; we have earlier featured the super talented Raed Yassin, and what Tarek does is quite a different approach but both contributing to our visual literacy.

It’s time for true Lebanese Pop art, les mecs!

Photo Credits: @Hadyfakhry

Leila tempting Bacchus!

By Admin I : And it was a hell of a night at the temple of Bacchus – Baalbek, witnessing our first Mashrou3 Leila concert after being in a secret affair with Leila for a couple of years. So the old monumental space got back to life, and Bacchus himself wore his faux-hipster outfit, showed his sexy hairy legs and joined the epic performance!

Everything was out of this world with this extremely talented band, whether the new music or their well-known tracks, everyone felt the mysterious flow of energy driven by the venue, and of course by “Hamed” who was in a euphoric state of being, performing at the dream stage of every local artist. Each member of Mashrou3 Leila was performing to the fullest, even the boring lady in red, while the mystic roman aura was gracefully flaunting between Haig (the violinist) and Hamed (The lead singer) proving how each member of this band is a blooming talent, complementing the one the other.

A lot has been written and said about Leila going to Baalbek; some people thought the step came too early for a barely 5 year old band with 2 albums, not to mention the stereotypical background of its members and audience bla bla bla, but let me tell you: For once, Baalbek and whoever is behind such festivals is listening to the young audience, which is not quite beneficial on a financial note, but totally reflects a cultural sustainability for a certain festival, knowing that an audience of fake Cuban cigars and silicon boobs wouldn’t really be able to preserve such a huge heritage; call it rainbows, unicorns, Goths, call it whatsoever: Baalbek’s heritage has officially been renovated!

It wasn’t only about teenagers almost touching Hamed’s shoes on stage, or counting the stitches of his super tight leather pants, it was a flow of genuine music, of inspiration and a true reflection of an alternative identity that whether you like it or not, is what’s molding our culture. Mashrou3 Leila was able to group in one very special place, numerous members of the Lebanese creative scene, their egos, and alter egos, making the whole event, one of the unforgettable nights of Baalbek.

Still pretending we stayed for the after-party,

Cheers to Leila!

(Bad photos due to Admin N’s sloppy lifestyle, and her crush on Japenese men and by the way she met one at Pecha Kucha and got totally distracted!! oops too much gossiping now back to her, sorry!)

Pecha Kucha Beirut V13

By admin N : I’ve always had an obsession with talks and presentation, the art of body language and voice tone manipulation have always fascinated me and led me to constantly try to improve my own presentations. Consequently, it would be only logical that I’d be a huge TED fan.

However, more recently, I was introduced to ‘Pecha Kucha’.

Pecha Kucha was actually conceived in Japan in 2003 as a way for designers to meet, network and share ideas. The presentation itself relies on the 20×20 concept: each presenter has 20 slides and talks about each slide in 20 seconds. Since then, Pecha Kucha has become a worldwide event, taking place in over 490 cities around the world; and of course in Beirut.

It was a last minute thing, someone had tweeted about it on the same day and we decided to grab that chance and attend the Pecha Kucha vol. 13 that took place on the 29th of Feb. Now for technical reasons (yea right!), we were not able to attend from the start but we were able to arrive just in time to bathe our ears with the oh so enchanting music of EPISODE. GO! CHECK! NOW! These guys are awesome, a mix of violin, drums and base with a very experimental feel to their sound. Ok, I’m calming down now, sorry for the enthusiasm burst. Let’s move on to the presentations.

After a short break (some more EPISODE + and some refreshing jack daniel’s), the presentations were back on. First up, Loryne Atoui and ‘one wig stand’: a very interesting presentation about taboos and cancer (mainly breast cancer). Loryne was engaging and funny, plus she gave us pins! So thumbs up that. Next up was Maher Bsaibes, a fashion designer who presented his work in the form of a story with a soft music playing in the background. Although Maher’s presentation seemed interesting, I was kind of lost with what was going on, I did not understand what it was all about until we reached the end which was a disappointment because he seemed to have a pretty good concept. Then, Rani Rajji came on with ‘use it’. Rani Rajji is the owner ‘studio beirut’, very cool projects and a keen sense of humor, but why did you have to read man, WHY?! After Rajji was Nasri Atallah’s turn, our man in Beirut, the twerson who made me aware of the event. Nasri was hilarious and had a very engaging presentation. And finally, the last one to present was the hilarious Doreen Toutikian with a presentation on the Desmeem project:  collaboration between Arabic and European designers aiming at finding solutions to different social issues through design.

All in all, I can say that Pecha Kucha had a very good vibe to it, we had lots of fun and we do look forward to the next event that should take place by July. See you around!

Pecha Kucha Beirut Facebook Group

Coke Studio hits the Middle East

By Guest M : In a world where almost everybody can be easily exposed to and through media, what an international well established brand like Coca Cola can do? Easy: have its own tv show! “Coke Studio” doesn’t limit itself to be endorsed by the worldwide known fresh beverage but it’s a part of the brand marketing as a whole, being the “i” in the word “Studio” shaped after the trademark 33 cl glass bottle.

The format started in Brazil and passed to Pakistan (with a succesful 5th season running) and India, is about to land in Lebanon under the direction of Michel Elefteriades.Coca Cola pushed the marketing button in Lebanon as well casting among others its spokesperson for the Middle East: “Nancy Ajram”and the Lebanese “Yara”.

The concept can be seen as a mix between Mtv US Unplugged (Mtv Asia being partner of the indian and pakistani project so far) and french Taratata but in a broader sense, at least judging from the videos circulating through the net where we have a mix of arabic, spanish and italian.

Good luck for the campaign hitting the Middle East after its international success, even though from an advertising point of view, celebrity endorsements and spending humongous budgets on music shows production will add to the stars’ bank accounts more than adding to Coca Cola-the brand.

Michelle & Noel Keserwany’s camel invading Beirut DT

By Admin I : After a quite raging wave of “hate-comments” and accusing us of being cynical and unprofessional (which we thought was obvious in our name “brofessional”-duuh), a gift from heaven just fell on our heads!

2 girls that we loved since their first releases “Jagal el usek” and “baddi sir star” and were able to express many of the topics we actually tackle in our blog, released a new song and video that is bluntly daring, fresh, cynical and as true as social criticism can be!

“aa jamal bi wasat Beirut” is more like a piece of Dadaism, an intervention taking the form of a music video. Michelle and Noel spoke our minds, and expressed what we’ve been living and thinking about for years in a capital that belongs to rich foreigners, where we can barely walk, talk or shop, and as they brilliantly state it:

Have you ever felt when going to Downtown Beirut that you’re at the sidelines of some ”power” contest where ”la creme de la creme” of the population is found parading with their newest cars, trendiest clothes, tallest cigars… And that when you dare enter their perfect little world at the risk of being stared to death, you sense that you’re being deprived of enjoying the beauty of the city?? Well who said that it’s illegal to be less fortunate and go to DT? Better yet, who said it’s against the law to go there riding a camel?!?! A group of friends and us tried to see the outcome of that theory by actualy entering the capital city on camels! And that was the reaction! Enjoy!!!!

Congrats to the girls and their creative experimental use of music and visual communication, and the engaging outcome that was shot by several cameras ranging from cell phone cameras to photo cameras to video cameras gathered by amateurs and their friends on the streets of Beirut, wishing a bright future for such talents and giving them a well deserved “brofessional” badge! (don’t ask me what that is!)

Florence + the machine

By Admin N : Florence and the machine (or as stylized Florence + the machine) is my latest music discovery, an epic fusion of baroque pop, art rock, soul and indie. It’s simply magical! Florence Welch has this deep enormous voice that will move you and take you on a rollercoaster ride through joy and sadness, light and darkness, fear and bravery.

Florence and the machine’s music has been described as somewhat gothic “made of harps, choirs, drums, elevator shafts, bits of metal, love, death, fireworks, string quartets, stamping, sighing, strange electronic wailing, lambs, lions, sick, broken glass, blood, moon, stars, drink, coffins, teeth, water, wedding dresses.. And the silences in between”. Her lyrics are as crazy as her music, although she claims her songs are just about love, the words say different. Although the main theme is boys, it also includes sex, death, love, violence. Nonetheless, very emotive, you could easily see Florence is a hopeless romantic looking for love.

Her latest album “Ceremonials” debuted at number 1 in the UK album charts, it’s dark, heavy with big drums, big bass and big sound. A mix of celtic rock meets gospel meets blues and soul meets pure genius!

Although her latest video for the song “no light, no light” sparked controversy after it was accused of supporting white supremacy, the video sees Florence Welch pursued by a man in black body paint, practising ‘voodoo’. I personally failed to see the racism and saw it as purely artistic

And do check the song that got me hooked in the first place – shake it out : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbN0nX61rIs