Hamza Namira (Photo courtesy of Hamza Namira official Facebook page)
The new album 'Mawlood Sanat 80' (Born in 1980) is the result of an exceptionally challenging year for Egyptian singer and songwriter Hamza Namira, who has proved to be one of the top indie pop stars of the past decade.
Releasing five successive singles so far since the launch of the album in mid-December, Namira started 2021 with his name top trending in Egypt and the Arab world on several mega music and news platforms, including YouTube, where he has been viewed over 15 million times on his 2.5 million-subscriber channel.
"I was born in the year 1980. Years pass. They told me I became old. I wondered how and when," says the enthusiastic chorus of 'Mawlood Sanat 80,' accompanied by nostalgic disco beats and the synths of 80s pop.
Namira, who was the main composer of the album and recorded several instruments including electric guitar and oud, collaborated with a few acclaimed soloists like Egyptian pop trademark guitarist Mostafa Aslan for the album, which features a number of renowned writers and producers.
"The song 'Fady Shwaya' is number one on YouTube’s trending page for Egypt, the UAE, Jordon, Kuwait and Qatar, and is in the top 10 in all Arab countries," Namira said earlier about his composition of Khalil Ezz Eldin lyrics, arranged by Karim Abdel-Wahab, who is also credited for 'Mawlood Sanat 80'.
Abdel-Wahab also produced Namira's composition of the EDM stadium anthem 'Setta Sabahan' (6am), written by renowned poet Omar Taher, as well as Mohamed El-Shafei's poem of despair 'El-Wa'a El-Akhira'.
Ahmed Nasr El-Dawoody is the arranger of Namira's notable mahragan-influenced sha'abi tune 'Esta'eizo'; a rich colloquial poem by Montaser Hegazi.
Being among the Arab artists who performed successful home quarantine concerts during the year of the pandemic lockdown, Namira's last original 10-song album 'Hateer Men Tany' saw wide success with several hits like 'Dary'.
Before COVID-19, Namira toured the world, fusing traditional folk tunes from several cultures with various modern vibes that featured a number of prominent musicians in his Remix TV program.
Namira, who launched his indie path in Alexandria alongside many underground musicians and singers, gained fame early last decade with his patriotic and dreamy anthems like 'Ensan' and 'Ehlam Ma'ya,' which put him in the mainstream during extraordinary political circumstances.
Namira, who has been criticised by many music and media personalities over political interpretations of his lyrics, is currently in the headlines of many first-row media entities in the region for the success of his new album, an opportunity he has taken to assert his denial of any political activity or alleged ties with outlawed Islamist entities.
Namira is currently sharing the top charts with pop superstars like Amr Diab, Mohamed Mounir, Mohamed Fouad and Tamer Hosni, who are releasing successive singles, side-by-side with several experienced and fresh rappers and mahragan and sha'abi singers.
For more arts and culture news and updates, follow Ahram Online Arts and Culture on Twitter at @AhramOnlineArts and on Facebook at Ahram Online: Arts & Culture