Egyptian musicians and bands in top 20 of Makshoof Music

Ahram Online, Tuesday 20 Sep 2011

Cairokee, Massar Egbari, SimpleXity, Hani Mustafa, are among many artists who made it to the current top 20 of Makshoof Music, part of the, whose 'Home-grown to Hollywood' competition is still accepting entries

TripleW chart

Makshoof Music, Makshoof Film and Makshoof Photo are among the core platforms operating under, a dynamic artistic website based in the UAE and launched in July, 2010 by Paul Kelly and his team with a desire to showcase the Middle East’s talent to the world.

The platform provides Middle Eastern audiences content with a Middle Eastern focus. This content includes original user-generated content as well as international content from a relevant, regional perspective. The aim of the site is to bring together the talent of the Middle East and provide this talent with a free and sophisticated platform to share their creativity and express themselves to a larger audience.

“Our main target audience is the region’s largest and most internet savvy demographic, mainly youth. We are developing an engaged relationship with this audience in the region, allowing the creative youth from around the region to share and enjoy music, film and photography,” Paul Kelly told Ahram Online.

As such, the platform offers an innovative and regional alternative to the mainstream mass market scene, encourages and inspires the creation of Middle East home-grown original talent.

One of the core projects within the’s music platform is Makshoof Music, an interactive platform designed to uncover and showcase the Middle East’s music talent.

Kelly explains that Makshoof Music’s goal is to select and reward promising musicians with opportunities and prizes such as studio recording time, live performances and potentially record deals.

Within only one year of the platform’s activities, has contributed greatly to the exposure of bands and musicians in the region who are immensely talented but unfortunately often overlooked. Today, the Makshoof Music platform houses profiles from across the Middle East with bands and artists representing: UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, Syria.

Within three sections of, Makshoof music seems to be attracting a particular attention towards Egyptian bands and solo performers, and their music is currently in the top 20 of the charts.

Makshoof Music currently has 30 profiles from Egyptian bands and solo performers such Cairokee, Massar Egbari, Taxi, Cartoon Killerz, Hani Mustafa, Hassan Ramzy among many others, all of them being artists across different genres Rock, Metal, Hip Hop, Acoustic, Electronic, etc. Kelly adds that has also collaborated with the Sound of Sakia to be an official online media partner and help engage more Egyptian bands and musicians. selects a number of promising musicians each year and develops a pool of regional talent who can prove and endorse the Makshoof Music blueprint.

“There is a wealth of creative talent in the Middle East not getting the exposure they deserve. Makshoof Music is a platform designed to uncover this hidden talent and share it with the rest of the region,” Kelly comments.

Makshoof Music allows musicians in the region to create their own profiles online and upload their own music to the site to share with others. The platform allows music lovers to discover and interact with up and coming, locally-based artists. Fans are given a direct line of communication to their favourite regional bands and an opportunity to offer their input into the creative process of making new music.

At the same time, in order to deliver the best experience and opportunities possible to the Makshoof Music musicians and bands, partners with music industry professionals (record labels, music producers, A&R) and commercial partners.

Within Makshoof Music, has recently launched its ‘Home-grown to Hollywood’ competition in partnership with their official record label partner EMI, one of the world’s largest record labels. “The competition is offering one aspiring musician or band in the region a once in a lifetime experience to travel to Hollywood, California, tour the Capitol Records Studios and play a one-off live gig in the city. This opportunity is the first of its kind in the Middle East and promises to be a hugely rewarding experience for all budding bands that enter,” Kelly explains.

Shady Ahmed, a musician from Cairo, Egypt was selected as the first winner of Makshoof Music at the end of 2010. “As part of his prize, flew Shady to Dubai for a couple of days in the studio to record his debut EP. also arranged a number of live performances and publicity/meet-the-media opportunities for Shady.” is still receiving regular musician/band entries for Home-grown to Hollywood. Kelly said that right now they are close to 100 entries from around the region and interested fans can jump on and check out what artists are doing well in the charts. recently celebrated its one year anniversary in July this year. Kelly points at many dynamic plans for the second year. “The Middle East is the fastest growing region in terms of internet penetration in the world. To face this growth, we expect to offer even more exciting promotions to our members in the year ahead. Hopefully by the end of our second year, we will be able say we helped a home-grown musician or two secure a record deal.”’s other two main content platforms, Makshoof Film and Makshoof Photo, are similar interactive platforms designed to uncover and showcase the Middle East’s film and photography talent. Makshoof Photo also includes a high presence of Egyptian artists in this field. regularly hosts contests and competitions on its platform in collaboration with strategic brand partners. "We offer tailored, smart and effective brand engagement opportunities, to partners, that see our users respond creatively to a brief or task across music, film or photography in return for opportunities for their talent to be recognized in a broader environment." has just announced the winners of their recent short Makshoof Film competition in partnership with Nokia. The winners are announced at the web site.

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