In homage to BAZAAR’s new era, Dana Hourani, the ethereal dancer, is here to reveal the latest string she is adding to her bow. Rosie-cheeked, her eyes bright and sparkling as they take in everything going on around her, she can’t hide her enthusiasm for her next endeavour. In this month’s issue, the creative visionary explains exclusively to BAZAAR why she is refusing to conform to the predefined notion of being an 'influencer' and unapologetically moves to the beat of her own drum.
ON THE RELEASE OF HER FIRST SINGLE ELLA ENTA…
“At the core, the song is also a commentary on modern life, and a warning that our obsession with image, and with projecting an idealised version of our lives, to the point where everything becomes a movie script on repeat, leads to an almost incurable void, that even love itself might not be able to fill.”
Dress, Dhs33,900, Hamda Al Fahim. Headpiece, Dhs1,240, Aura Headpieces. Earrings, Dhs2,050, Oscar de la Renta at Ounass
ON CONNECTING WITH HER ARAB AUDIENCE...
“I feel like I’m going to speak to a wider audience in the Arab world. You know, sometimes I feel like my page and my style doesn’t speak to the Arab audience — it speaks to the European audience. Releasing a song in Arabic I feel will do the opposite. At the end of the day I’m Arab, I’m Lebanese and I come from the Arab world. I speak the language, maybe not very well, but why can’t I sing in this language?”
Dress, Dhs20,200, Vera Wang
ON BEING AN 'INFLUENCER'...
“I don’t see myself as an influencer. The term influencer was really forced upon me. But it’s not like I’m resisting it. I’m not. The important thing for me is to influence people in the right way — to do what they love and to carry out their passions the way I am. I feel the term influencer is used very broadly, and I’d like to change the way it is used.
ON REMAINING AUTHNETIC...
“I never gave into the noise. It was really all about my core value, which is being able to freely express myself in whatever way makes me feel comfortable at the time that I’m in. It wasn’t about the number of followers, clearly. I’ve been doing this for six years and I’m still at 130k. I have friends who started at the same time and they are at a million, because they had a different strategy. For me I had a different motive.”
ON USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO CHANNEL CREATIVITY...
“I wanted to be in art. I wanted to be in fashion. I wanted to be in music. I wanted to do so many things and I didn’t know how I was going to do all of this. I didn’t know how to exert all these drives in me to accomplish all these things. There isn’t a job that allows you to do all these things together.”
Dress, Dhs20,860, Ingie Paris. Bodysuit, Dhs1,850, La Perla. Headpiece, Dhs2,000, Evelyn McDermott Millinery
“Zoë is definitely my number one priority. Nothing tops her. I always wonder how I’m going to explain this to her in the future. What is she going to think? Will she approve of everything that I’ve done? But at the end of the day, whether she approves or not, I would always want her to go after what she loves and not be afraid to do it out of passion. Not because it’s the way the world is working, or because there needs to be a certain profession for her to make money. That’s not the way I want to raise her. I want to raise her to really do what she is passionate about. If that’s going to be the breadwinner, amazing, but if not, I wouldn’t care. Everything works out in the end when you’re really doing what you love.”
ON THE POWER OF POSITIVITY...
"I always like to see the better side of things. In the social media world, three years is equivalent to 10. It’s so hard to live in the moment. There’s so much going on for me to focus on how I’m viewing the world. I’m always consumed by something all the time. I barely have time to sit and notice things around me. I know one day I’ll go back to that, but right now, I choose to trust that there’s a positive reason for what is happening."
Dress, Dhs46,000, Dior. Headband, Dhs1,660, Prada. Fishnet sandals, Dhs4,690, Christian Louboutin
Pick up the May 2019 issue of Harper's BAZAAR Arabia for the full interview
Photography: Kristan Schuller
Styling: Gemma Deeks
Creative direction: Peggy Schuller
Art Director: Jolie Wernette-Horn
Producer: Laura Prior
Make-up: Melanie Meyer at MMG Artists
Hair: Anne Sophie Begtrup
Fashion assistant: Tabitha Glaysher
Digital creative direction: Elizabeth Kelly
With special thanks to Al Jiyad Stables