VIDEO: Egypt's independent musicians take on a taste of politics

Ahram Online, Tuesday 11 Dec 2012

Revolutionary singer Ramy Essam and bands Cairokee and Salalem are releasing more singles with a political flavour

Tahrir Square during a sit-in (Photo: Reuters)

Since the start of the Egyptian revolution, many artists, particularly musicians, have been involved in the protests, so perhaps it is not strange that political events have found a way into their musical projects.

Ramy Essam, a singer and acoustic guitar player who came to fame during the initial 18 day sit-in that ousted Mubarak, released a song for protester Gaber Salah, known as Jika, who was slain during recent violence. He died during the protests commemorating the one year anniversary of the clashes in Mohamed Mahmoud Street between police and protesters, when once again violent clashes broke out. In his song 'Jika Ayesh' (Jika Lives), Essam sings that the martyr leaves Egyptians his will to continue the fight for freedom.




Cairokee, no strangers to releasing songs during political turmoil, also release a song and video featuring Egyptian rapper Zap Tharwat called 'Ana Mesh Menhom' (I Am Not From Them). The song urges people to step out of the 'majority' and rebel for hope and prosperity.  This is not the first time Cairokee have reacted to political events with music videos. During the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes of 2011, they released 'Ya Maydan' (O Square) with Aida El-Ayouby,  and towards the end of the 18 day sit-in a musical collaboration between some members of Cairokee and Wust El-Balad band was released called 'Sout El-Horeya' (The Voice of Freedom) with a video shot in Tahrir Square.



While both Ramy Essam and Cairokee have a tendency to release music to do with political events, indie band Salalem usually do not have a political slant to their music, which instead revolves around contemporary culture. The band released 'Ya Sayed Ya Masul' (Mr. In Charge) where they speak to the person in charge, explaining to him that people have changed and he needs to change his ways. They ask the president to stop playing around with the constitution and emphasise the justice of the revolutionaries' cause.


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