Sadat and Alaa Fifty Cent, the founders and pioneers of mahraganat or Electro Chaabi as it is called in the west. This group was the very first to sing, record and upload wedding songs that later became known as “Mahraganat” or “Festival” songs. Kicking everything off with an ode to their city Al Salam, these three young dudes took their neighbourhood, their city, their country and then the internet by storm. This is the sound of a revolution, the sound of kids that don’t take it anymore and demand freedom, or at the very least, Five Pound Phone credit as one of their most famous songs will tell you!
Their sound is the crossover between rap and traditional, street music. The lyrics are inspired by the street culture with all its social problems and issues, and that’s a lot considering the state of Cairo right now. They gained a steady following by playing weddings, as most artists do in Egypt. It’s not a wedding like you’ve ever seen before though. It’s hours of relentless dancing and singing, starting slowly in the afternoon and going on all night. There’s no alcohol, its an all natural high, with people swinging fire bowls, climbing on roofs and walls, dancing like their life depends on it.
Although there are two names billed, Sadat and Alaa Fifty Cent, the third guy in the outfit might be the most important one. Producer Amr Haha effortless mixes traditional instruments and riffs with whatever he can lay his hands on. Auto-tuning the vocals into oblivion, his dense layers of sound are closer to the avant-garde then the street rap that has inspired him. More Wordsound than G Unit.
The sounds by these boys can be heard all over the troubled streets of Cairo right now, and we at Generation Bass are happy to now share them with the rest of the world as well!
Here’s what the boys say about themselves:
I began in the music field around 4 years ago. I have always had an obsession with computer sound- mixing software and I have developed a great deal of experience over the years. In time I learnt recording and mixing, and my first song was “Ana elli e’shty haram fi haram” ( My life full of sins). Following my first hit, more songs met the same success and started to play at weddings. Later I met Figo, Sadat and Alaa Fifty and we decided to form our band “No Comment”.
Sadat El 3alamy..Mic-man:
I started singing 4 years ago when I began singing the song “Koll A’am” (Every Year) with Figo. I have loved music since my childhood and used to go to Sha’by weddings behind the DJ desk. Figo and I were neighbors and we started our careers in music together in Al Salam. My favorite singers are Ahmed Adawyia and Fairouz.
Alaa Fifty Cent- Mic-man:
I was among the first to sing the Festival songs 5 years ago. My first song was “Al Salam Festival” with Figo. This song became a huge success and people started to know our names and our music. Festival music is mainly Sha’aby music with a different beat and mixing and a strong rap influence. I chose my name Fifty Cent because I see him as a role model and his music was of a great influence on me. I love Fifty Cent also because I sense in his voice deep emotions and kindness to the people which is something that really matters to me. I also love Dr. Dre and Bob Marley. I never forget the great Sha’by singer Ahmed Adawyia, he is my favorite Sha’aby singer and I listen to his songs all the time. My love for both Fifty Cent and Adawyia was the reason I decided to sing a mix between rap and Sha’aby. My most known song is “Sohobeyia gat be Nadama” (A friendship I regret).
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