"Once every so often you hear a voice that stands out, a voice that can really reach your heart and mind"
- Sarah Fenwick, Jazz Singer/Music Writer, Cyprus Weekly
"Lina is one of the most versatile and powerful singers I have ever known or worked with"
- Danny Garrett, Owner/Educator, DannyGarrettDrumss.com
"I especially love the way she can rearrange a hit song into her style, turn it around and make it even better. She has a very high level of creativity"
- Bill Whitford, Owner/Drummer, Betty Gone Bad
"In a big show, or an intimate setting, she shines and lights up the venue. Lina is at the top of my go-to list for vocalist in Atlanta. I can't recommend her enough."
- Kevin Wyglad, Owner/Sr Pr..at Vertical Sound Studio, LLC
"She sang a range of songs, from rock to blues, from funk to soul, displaying a versatility of style that only truly great singers are able to achieve"
- Nadia Coatsworth, reporter, Sunday Mail
"A fantastic singer is one who after only hearing them sing 3 or 4 notes you can immediately tell who it is. That is the vocal quality Lina possesses. "
- Bill Whitford, Owner/Drummer, Betty Gone Bad
Her appearance in any concert location produces an immediate buzz of excitement, whether or not the audience has had the pleasure of seeing her perform.
“Once every so often you hear a voice that stands out, a voice that can really reach your heart and mind,” said Sarah Fenwick, music writer for the Cyprus Weekly, published in Lina’s adopted country of Cyprus. “Lina Kawar has such a voice, richly vibrant, powerful and sincere.”
“I was not shy when I was young, that came a little bit later,” said Lina.
“I’d be out with my parents at restaurants, and get up to sing. I was maybe 8 or 9 years old.”
When she moved for a while to Florence in South Carolina, Lina sang at her graduation, and her mother, who knew how much she loved to sing, would push her at every opportunity.
Lina recalls that when she was 15, she got up in a harbourside bar and was just told, “Sing a song.” She pitched into the Whitney Houston number, “I will always love you,” without any music. “I just closed my eyes and started to sing,” said Lina. This sort of setting, without music, is a challenge for any singer, but as she sang, the noise in the bar dropped, until, apart from her voice, you could have heard a pin drop.
“I was so nervous at first, but then I realized there was no need to be. The audience was interested and the experience for me was unforgettable,” she said.
Later Lina would get up to sing as often as she could in a karaoke bar run by her brother, and later formed her own band, called “Split Ends” because it was made up of people from a variety of nationalities, Filipino, Armenian, her brother and herself, Lebanese.
“I remember a favourite song of mine then was ‘The Rose’ by Bette Midler, but I developed a much bigger repertoire, although I stayed with a mixture of ballads, rhythm and blues, and rock,” said Lina. “It might be rock or blues, but for me it must have soul.”
Lina started writing her own material, and at the same time she gained a Master in Business Administration, majoring in marketing, at a college in Cyprus.
She started appearing at a string of events and soon became a much in demand performer, recorded a series of voice overs for television advertisements, and radio jingles for Kiss FM in Cyprus and Mix FM in Lebanon.
Mainstream television appearances followed, and Lina honed her craft as a singer whose ability to electrify any audience transferred remarkable well to television.
After she won a Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation contest, ‘Afetiries’, with a heart-stopping rendition of “How do I live without you,” by LeAnn Rimes, Lina became a natural choice to appear in the backing group for the island’s entries in three successive Eurovision Song Contests.
Lina went to London where she met Jazzie B, the producer of SoulIISoul, who praised her talent and urged her to focus on her unique musical abilities.
Her stirring presence at any event led to her being called on to sing at company anniversaries, including a Nicosia Hilton party for a division of Cyprus Airways, a string of UN events, and she also performed at a wedding attended by the President of Cyprus.
She became well known in Nicosia clubs for her powerful voice and dynamic style, and has been much praised for her appearances over a long period at the Blue Bar, set within the old Venetian walls of the city.
A particular accolade came along for Lina when a producer from Canada heard her sing, and later took three tracks on her demo disc to use in a television movie starring Bo Derek.
Her style and presentation has drawn its inspiration from a series of her childhood favourites, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin, and Lina says, “I sing just about everything, but I love rock, and I love soul, and I love connecting with my audiences. Music has always seemed easy for me, it’s where I can just open up. With music, I truly come alive.”