Leading Egyptian independent musicians to perform in London

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Jan 2016

Dina El Wedidi, Egyptian Project, Cairokee to perform at the 'Music From Egypt & Sudan - Oxford Maqam' to be held at the SOAS, University of London

Cairokee, The Egyptian Project, Dina El-Wedidi
From left to right: Cairokee, The Egyptian Project, Dina El-Wedidi (Photo: Al Ahram)

Egyptian and Sudanese musicians will play in an event organised by Marsm company at the University of London campus on Friday 22 January.

Dubbed 'Music From Egypt & Sudan - Oxford Maqam,' the series of events will celebrate the two countries' inspiring artists from traditional folklore to alternative rock roots.

The evening will feature Dina El Wedidi (Egypt), Egyptian Project (Egypt), Cairokee (Egypt), Oxford Maqam (Egypt/UK) as well as Alsarah (Sudan/NY) and Rasha (Sudan).

Dina El-Wedidi has in recent years gained not only success and popularity in Egypt but also abroad, performing in America, Europe and a number of countries in Africa such as Kenya and Uganda.

A yearlong mentorship from 2012 to 2013 with Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil and her own debut album Turning Back (2014) established her as a professional musician in her own right.

El-Wedidi’s style of music is deeply rooted in Egypt, as well as Africa – evidenced from her collaboration with the Nile Project which includes musicians from Nile basin countries –though she has a following in Europe and America, touching on many often contrasting cultures.

An electronic-folk band, Egyptian Project, merges electro, classical and trip hop sounds to underlying Egyptian tunes. The band has been known from their first hit single titled Ya Amar, which toured at international festivals.

Founded by French musician and producer Jerome Ettinger, the members of Egyptian Project band include three Egyptians: Sayed Emam on vocals and the kawala instrument; Salama Metwally on the rababa and violin, and Ragab Sadek on percussion.

The band also includes French musician Anthony Bondu on drums. The band has performed internationally and locally at several festivals, including Paleo Festival in Switzerland, Fête de la musique in Egypt, and Festival d'été and Festival Les Nuits Métisses, as well as performing at Paris's Grand Palais.

Although Cairokee were founded in 2003, eight whole years before the revolution, their first biggest success came with the post-25 January triumphs.

Their hit single, Sowt El Horriya (The Voice of Freedom) – written during the first 18 days of the revolution and released before former president Hosni Mubarak stepped down – took the country by storm to be seen and heard for months on radio stations, all over TV channels, and even as a cell phone ringtone.

The band even made it to international media outlets, with appearances on CNN and in publications like Vanity Fair. Their third and latest album Sekka Shemal (An Indecent Path) features collaborations with the renowned musician Souad Massi and the late vernacular poet Ahmed Fouad Negm.

The event 'Music From Egypt & Sudan - Oxford Maqam' will take place at the Brunei Gallery of the SOAS, University of London.

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