Battle of the Songs: SHINee vs Mohamed Ali

I always wanted to talk about the covers of various songs. However, I want to try to do in a competition style: one version vs. another version. I don’t know if I am going to do this weekly or monthly yet. I have so much content that I have yet to publish. But, here is the first one!

So here is the very first “Battles of the Songs”: SHINee vs. Mohamed Ali

Mohamed Ali – “Hola” (2009)

First off is Mohamed Ali’s 2009 song “Hola” from his only album Keep It Simple. If you don’t know who Ali is, let me do a basic introduction. Mohamed Ali is a Danish singer who has Egyptian and Iraqi origins. He competed in Season 2 of the Danish version of The X Factor, coming in third place. After the competition, Ali went on to open for Beyonce’s tour when she came to Denmark and signed a contract with Sony Music. He released one album, Keep It Simple. Ali’s latest single was released in 2013, entitled “Unbreakable”. The song placed second in the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, a competition to determine who can represent Denmark in the yearly Eurovision competition.

“Hola” seems like an innocent song, something akin to Justin Bieber’s early works. Ali’s talented vocals do shine through as they are very fluid and smooth throughout the song. However, his vocals do possess that innocent, young sense.  This quality could be a turn off for older listeners who don’t prefer younger male vocals like Justin Bieber or Aaron Carter. You can tell that this song was catered more to a younger audience. But, I don’t mind it. I think his boyish vocals hold a great fluidity, has a great tone and brings youthfulness to the song.

SHINee – “Hello” (2010)

About a year later after “Hola” was released, SHINee released their own cover of the song. SHINee is a  boy band from South Korea who has been releasing music since 2008. Currently, there are four members: Key, Onew, Taemin, and Minho. There was a fifth member, Jonghyun, but he committed suicide last year.

My brother and I are huge SHINee fans. I have been a fan since their release of the EP Sherlock in 2012. I am in love with Onew because of his boyish charm, deep voice, and the fact that he is so cute. So, excuse me why I fangirl, but I promise that I won’t be biased and pick based on my fangirl preferences.

But, moving onto Shinee’s “Hello,” this version contains a more professional sound. How the song is mixed is better than “Hola” as it features instrumentation with deeper bass. The instrumentation is more grounded than “Hola,” which is airier and bubblegum pop-like. Maybe this more grounded instrumentation reflexes on the vocal tone of each member, which is thicker than Ali’s.

If I have to choose between SHINee or Mohamed Ali, I would select SHINee’s “Hello” as it is more polished and more professional sounding. Even if you remove the talented vocals, the instrumentation for SHINee’s version is mixed very well and features a more grounded sound.

What Will It Be?

Now it is your turn to vote! Who will be the victor of the first-ever “Battle of the Songs”? Tell me in the comments below! Also, tell me why you choose a particular version! I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!

148 thoughts on “Battle of the Songs: SHINee vs Mohamed Ali

  1. These are both new to me musicians, but i’m going to go with SHINee. Regarding your question about how frequent you should do these battles – I may have a solution for you 🙂 I participate in a blog hop called “Battle of the Bands”. We post twice a month (most of us anyway – some only post once a month) on the 1st and the 15th of every month. Everyone posts their own battles, and then everyone visits each other’s blogs and cast our votes. It really is a lot of fun and it’s a great way to network with other music bloggers. If you’re interested, check out Stephen’s blog (he’s our fearless bloghop leader) Tell him you’re interested by commenting on his blog, then simply join in the fun! You can find Stephen’s blog at


    • aisasami says:

      You are very welcome. I always wanted to play the sax because I love jazz, but I like more modern jazz. How about you, do you modern jazz or classic jazz?

  2. I think I like both of them as they are pretty similar, but I prefer SHINee a little bit more. I haven’t heard of them before, so it was a great possibility to get to know something new. 🙂

    • aisasami says:

      Ahhh, they do sound like each other but it’s the voice and the instrumentation that is different. Mohemed is more of a bubblegum pop sound, like Bieber, and SHINee is more of a mature pop sound.

  3. With Love Moni says:

    Battle of songs I saw it first on a friends blog. I didn’t know except shinee the others were into singing too. So I’m going for Shinee

  4. I’ve never heard of either of these song versions before reading this post! I love your detailed evaluation of each and I enjoyed watching the videos. I’m going to have to go with SHINee though…

  5. chelf says:

    I work in the music industry and I create content for various artists but this is way out of my genre! Very different indeed! It was fun to listen to something different!

  6. Waren Jean says:

    I am a big Kpop fanatic so without a doubt I choose shinee. Unfortunately, I have not heard about the other singer until today.

    • aisasami says:

      High Five for being a Kpop fan! Which artist do you like? I like a mixture of old and new. I like SNSD, Blackpink, SHINee, SES, H.O.T, Seo Taiji, BoA, and etc.

  7. Joanna says:

    It’s interesting how sometimes a cover can be better than the original. I have never heard of any of these singers before reading your post.

  8. I think I like the SHINee’s “Hello” better. But only for the reason of the different vocals and instruments which together, created a fuller sound. But I am not sure it’s really a fair comparison 🙂

  9. Never heard of both but thanks to you I heard of them now. For the battle of this two.. I will choose SHINee.

    P/s I have emailed you the details about the round-up post. Hope you had it

  10. Geraline Batarra says:

    Honestly this is my first time hearing this songs both are good and beautiful but I enjoyed listening with the version of Shinee.

  11. Jessica Lyles, LMSW says:

    I enjoyed Shin nee,as other have said I am out of touch with the latest in music and appreciate you linking the videos to check out both conveniently.

  12. Surekha Busa says:

    To be honest, I haven’t heard them sing so I don’t know what I will write here. But from the post above I think they have their own genre of song and they are both good.

  13. I totally agree with you!! Hola reminds me a lot of this pop sound from the nineties, of Aaron Carter, Britney Spears tunes, you know. I know about SHINee a little bit but I think I prefer more the real version of the song

  14. Jana says:

    Cool post! And the voting process is hard for me here. I’m one of those people that have to look at everything as a whole. I like to look at stage presence and more than just voices, so i think I would have to go with SHINee just because of the videography and his stage presence.

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