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‘No Time for Retirement’ - A Showman of a Generation

Meyna Hassaan, a timeless legend in the Maldivian music industry, talks exclusively to The Edition about the showman’s future plans.

Shahudha Mohamed
15 August 2019, MVT 15:18
Meyna Hassaan at the Dhivehi Fannaanunge Miuzikee Eid Show held in celebration of Independence Day 2019. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/ MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
15 August 2019, MVT 15:18

Meyna Hassaan is nothing short of a legend in the Maldivian music industry.

His catchy beats, poetic lyricism and deep voice carved a special love in the hearts of Maldivians since the moment his first album ‘Maldivian Fantasy’ was released on April 10, 1992. Every single song on the album starting from ‘Vaguthu Nethey’ to ‘Gina Saabahey’ was an instant favourite.

"My favourite song is Mila Mila Handhuvaru", he told The Edition without hesitation when posed with the question of which song he personally gravitated towards.

Having showered the country with what has become absolute classics, he then proceeded to bless us with albums such as ‘Maldives Ecstacy’, ‘Euphoria’ and ‘Oevaru’. As time passes, the popularity for his songs also grow - such is his magic, with boduberu groups and young artists still covering his best work albeit with modern spins. No matter the year, Meyna Hassaan’s original tunes still remain unbeatable.

Despite a brief musical hiatus Meyna Hassaan’s popularity did not wane one bit. A testament to the fact is the ‘Miuzikee Eid’ Show hosted as part of the Independence Day celebrations, for as Meynaa Hassaan graced the stage with famous hits like ‘Mila Mila Handhuvaru’ - the crowd went, as they always have, absolutely wild.

Arguably, Meyna Hassaan’s most impressive characteristic is his enthusiastic showmanship. It is near impossible to stay still or be a mere spectator at one of his performances. No one can hold a crowd quite like Meynaa Hassaan. His passion and vigour and spills out on stage and his dance moves send waves of excitement throughout tiers of passionate fans.

Meyna Hassaan is known for his signature dance moves and energetic performance. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/ MIHAARU

Despite the time that has passed between this moment and Meyna Hassan’s very first single, his energy and drive remain youthful, and his performances thus timeless.

This is one of the main reasons that Meyna Hassaan’s name has stayed so very relevant even in a sea of emerging young talents and new blood. Meynaa Hassaan’s songs are a reflection of the Maldivian culture delivered with an originality that doesn’t sound quite right when sung by anyone else. Every single song is memorable and unique, honed with that special Meynaa Hassaan quality only he can deliver.

However, breaking hearts time and again, Meyna Hassaan has consistently over time, after each recent performance, announced his departure. Thankfully for us listeners though, the renowned artist can never seem to stay away from his art. He has wowed crowds in numerous performances on various occasions even after his bold sayonara to music altogether.

Donned in a jacket adorned with flowers, Meyna Hassaan shook the stage on Miuzikee Eid Show. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/ MIHAARU

Following a very successful performance during New Year’s 2018, Meyna Hassaan admitted that it was near impossible for him to reject an offer to sing. This is perhaps because there was never a time in history during which the public said “no” to Meyna Hassaan’s music, all throughout his long and successful career.

Meynaa Hassaan confessed that he initially stepped away from the music scene following a near-fatal incident at sea that left him viewing life through a different lense. According an interview given by Hassaan to Mihaaru, quitting music was one of the more considerable adjustments he made in his life, inspired by a similar incident suffered by the famous British musician Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam), who pledged to devote his entire life to honouring God after surviving a close brush with death almost drowning in Malibu.

Nevertheless, although Meyna Hassaan tried fervently to stick to his decision, his love for music kept pulling him back to the stage, time and time again. After a long break of 14 years since his ‘retirement’ at the start of the new millenia,he hosted a show at Raalhugandu, once more announcing that it would be his last ever show.

Then, four years later, he made another colourful comeback at the 2018’s New Year Show.

The long breaks in his career are not in the least bit reflected in his unwavering enthusiasm and top-notch performances. He still has the same exuberance seen at the start of his career and his passion for the art of singing has only grown further.

“I will never say that I will sing or not sing anymore. There is no way I can say that, is there? I said I wouldn’t but now I’ve done it once, twice, thrice..”, a sentimental quality takes over his gruff voice, trailing off as the accomplished singer counted the times he returned to the stage after bowing out.

Meynaa Hassaan in his element - pumping up a crowd on a big stage, eclipsed by lights and nostalgia. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/ MIHAARU

Despite the artist’s proclamations of leaving music behind for good, the public is ever and always itching for another song, album or performance.

Whatever Meynaa Hassaan offers, we are here to devour whole - and so, it would be a joyous revelation that the legend himself confirmed exclusively to The Edition that his fifth album, focusing on the journey of his life, is currently in progress and will hopefully be released within the next month!

According to the singer, that is just the beginning of his upcoming future projects. Hinting at collaborating in ‘Karuhakuru’, a musical film as well as penning out his biography, Meyna Hassaan guaranteed that he is set to step on big stages once more, this time armed with new music.

“I have recorded 30 songs already. I am not stopping at a fifth album, there will be a sixth, seventh and maybe more”, he exclaimed, much to the listener’s delight.

And if all that is not thrilling enough, Meyna Hassaan also stated that he aims to kick off his new album by going on tour all over the archipelago, performing fresh songs, and hopefully some of his old all-time favourites - songs that evoke sweet nostalgia in every Maldivian.

“I’m even working out to get more in shape for the upcoming shows”, he bubbled, clearly invigorated by thoughts of what lies ahead in his adventure of a career, but obviously, not nearly as excited as his fans certainly will be!

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