Cairo Steps and Hany Adel join hands in single The Imam

Ati Metwaly , Thursday 21 Mar 2024

Cairo Steps revive old Islamic poetry in their single The Imam featuring artist Hany Adel.

Cairo Steps

The single saw light a few weeks ago, during the Cairo Steps' concert at the Cairo Opera House last February, and has now been released on numerous music streaming platforms, including Anghami, Spotify, etc.

The lyrics for the composition are drawn from a famed poem by Imam Al-Shafi' -- "Let Days Go Forth" -- and are set within a new musical format. 

Composed by Basem Darwisch, oud player and the Cairo Steps' founder, the singer walks the listeners through the lyrics, allowing us to uncover yet another creative image of Hany Adel.

The composition begins with a long musical introduction in which Darwisch's oud is braided within the rich background of violins and percussions. 

As Adel opens the vocal segment, we find ourselves in the heart of Al-Shafi’s poem, "If your faults become too much in front of the people - And you wish that they were to be concealed, - Then know that kindness covers all faults - And how many faults are kept hidden by kindness!"

It is in the second part of the composition that Adel's highly eloquent and warm delivery takes us back to the poem's opening lines, creating a strong and filled-with-hope closing of the message that this new single carries: "Let days go forth and do as they please - And remain firm when settled is the Decree - Don’t be afraid of what happens by night - For the affairs of this world are not to last."

The composition is yet another work by Darwisch in which he explores several creative influences, reaching deep into his versatile soul of artistic expression.

Known for reaching to Sufi chants, Egyptian, Nubian, and ethnic sounds, as well as jazz and classical music, over the past two decades, Darwisch helped those musical paths meet in a large body of his work.

The multicultural exploration that emphasized the different forms of Islamic spirituality is apparent in several of Darwisch's latest compositions, including those featuring Sheikh Ehab Younis (Works titled Malek Al-Molk, Naeim Redak), among others. 

Darwisch has also cooperated with Hany Adel in the past. In the late 2010s, Darwisch's signature ensemble, Cairo Steps, collaborated with the band HOH, an acronym for Hany Adel (also the frontman of the popular Wust El-Balad band), Ousso Lotfy (renowned guitarist, also known for Eftekasat, Nagham Masry bands), and Hany El-Dakkak (the frontman of the band Massar Egbari).

Darwisch, an oud player, composer, and music manager, is the dynamo of Cairo Steps, an ensemble he founded in 2002 in collaboration with German pianist Matthias Frey which has performed extensively in Egypt and Germany and on many other international stages.

The ensemble has released five albums and multiple singles, including Oud Lounge (2012), followed by Arabiskan (2016), Silk Road (2016), Flying Carpet (2017), and Diwan Cafe (2020-2021).

Cairo Steps continues releasing singles and performing in Germany and Egypt, often inviting other renowned musicians to their creative journeys.

Hany Adel is a well-known guitarist, vocalist, screen actor, and the founding member of the famous rock band Wust El-Balad. Recently, Adel also embarked on a parallel solo career, launching his The Grey Man musical project.

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