Released earlier this month on YouTube, El-Safar was written during the pandemic and the resulting period of cultural lock-down.
The song expresses Hedayah’s longing for travel, hence the single’s title, which translates to ‘Travelling.’
However, in the song, the idea of travel is expanded to a journey from reality to the favourite destination in one’s heart, as Hedayah explains: “It’s only when we miss something that we truly appreciate it,” he notes.
The song was originally written and produced with Hedayah’s preliminary intention to perform it alone, however, once he heard the track, he felt something was missing.
A timely suggestion from Amir’s assistant Adham led them to collaborate with Abayazied, a young rising vocalist.
“Abayazied has a very special gift, and he’s a very collaborative artist. He has a unique character as an artist and a beautifully distinguished voice,” Hedayah explained.
The music of El-Safar moves listeners from tribal drums to western pop influences topped with some classical Arabic touches.
Hedayah is among the most successful singers and songwriters of his generation. Most recently, he won a prestigious Hollywood Music in Media Award for his work on the hit show ‘Dofaat Beirut’, which has also been nominated for many other awards.
The 34-year-old producer and composer has also worked alongside the Recording Academy — AKA the Grammys — to create a new award category shedding light on more diverse world-music artists who he believes deserve wider international recognition.
He is best known for his work on top-charting Arabic film and TV shows as well as scores for ‘Artella’, a collaboration platform for creating animated films, commercials, video games, and virtual reality experiences.
Furthermore, Hedayah won the best music special award for scoring the feature film ‘El-Watar’ in 2013; and in 2015, he was selected as a top 10 winner at the Oticons International Film Music Competition.
In 2016, he began his international collaboration with ex-Pixar and co-founder of Animation Mentor and Artella Bobby Beck through multiple animated projects on Artella.
In 2017, he scored and designed the sound of the world’s first virtual reality animated short film — ‘Lily & Snout’; and in 2018, Hedayah also won the best soundtrack award at Spain’s International Spiritual Film Festival.
Moreover, in 2019, he won the second Grand Prize at the Oticons international film scoring competition.
Additionally, Hedayah is a voting member of the Grammys.
Abayazied began his singing career as a backing vocalist in Mohamed Mounir’s band.
He has been active in the local Egyptian music scene with notable performances alongside Sharmoofers. He also performed internationally in London, making three appearances as the lead singer for Hawidro.
Abayazied also collaborated on key projects such as the ‘Wein A’aramallah’ cover, which he provided vocals for, as well as cooperated with Disco Masr’s Mostafa El-Sherif in producing, mixing, and mastering the track.
Additionally, he had a notable guest appearance on an episode of Redbull’s music series ‘Mazzika Salonat.’