Shaghaf (Arabic: شغف Egyptian pronunciation: [ʃˈaɣaf]) is an Egyptian alternative, indie rock band that was formed in 2016 in Cairo, Egypt. Translating to 'Passion', Shaghaf was founded by three high school students as a means of communicating thoughts, feelings and emotions into music that others could hopefully relate to. The trio though of the band as a method of self-expression through what they are most passionate about: creating music. Shaghaf went on to perform at school events during 2016 before being selected by Sharmoofers to take part in Egypt's first, nationwide, Battle of the Bands competition. Shaghaf's debut single, "Helmak", was released in November 2016, helping them take the Egyptian, underground music scene by storm. They then went on to win NYUAD's second edition of Battle of the Bands, establishing a solid presence in the UAE's local, underground music scene and recording their debut EP. Recently, the band was invited to open for the Wasla festival in Dubai, UAE.
Background[edit | edit source]
The band was founded by its three current members: Ahmed Mitry (guitar and lead vocals), Sara Fakhry (keyboard and vocals) and Youssef Azzam (drums and percussion). Being the friends they are since they were young, forming the band was not a hard task for the high school students. Ahmed Mitry and Youssef Azzam had first met at a school talent show in 2013 after performing covers of their favorite songs. They exchanged contacts and started meeting once a week afterward, jamming to the music of their favorite artists, Cairokee, who were a main influence, along with the various artists that appeared in Egypt after the revolution, and a source of inspiration to them both.
Later on, Sara Fakhry had joined the duo when they had asked her to take part in their performances at school events. The trio went on to set the foundation for their school's first school band where they would perform covers of their favorite artists at school events such as TEDx and graduation ceremonies. However, they later on discovered that they wanted more, thus, creating their own project that is now known as Shaghaf.
Festivals and Campaigns[edit | edit source]
Egypt's Battle of the Bands (2016)[edit | edit source]
In May 2016, a nationwide competition known as Battle of the Bands took place in almost every city across Egypt. The purpose was to find the greatest Egyptian underground bands in the Egyptian underground music scene. Out of over 650 applicants, Shaghaf was handpicked by the infamous Sharmoofers to participate in the nationwide competition alongside 11 other bands. Being the youngest participants in the competition, Sharmoofers praised the young high school talents in Egypt represented by Shaghaf.
The competition was comprised of four battles in different cities across Egypt with three bands per battle. Shaghaf took part in the competition's first battle in Alexandria, Egypt. Before the battle took place, Shaghaf toured the host city with their competition where they got to perform around the different streets of Alexandria while on a moving truck. This provided the bands with the opportunity to expand their fan bases and show what they are truly capable of prior to the actual battles.
In their battle, Shaghaf came in second place with 39% of the audience votes and a 3% difference between the winner, 3ala Kefna.
Artkhana: Without Filters (2017)[edit | edit source]
In 2017, a non-profit, organization known as Artkhana started a campaign referred to as "Without Filters". The campaign was an attempt to revive the underground music scene in Egypt by providing a platform for rising artists to perform their music at Artkhana's annual summer festival and for audiences to be exposed to different genres of music.
After their success in Egypt's Battle of the Bands, Shaghaf had managed to establish a solid fanbase in Cairo between the high school community. Shaghaf was selected as one of the six performing bands at the festival where they got the opportunity to showcase their music and share the stage with rising artists in Cairo. The trio managed to share the stage with several popular, Cairo-based, underground bands such as Khayal, Code Masr, Hawas, and Sada That.
Wasla (2019)[edit | edit source]
In April 2019, Shaghaf were selected to open for the biggest, annual, Middle-Eastern, alternative-indie rock festival in Dubai: the Wasla festival. As part of its message to shed light on the region's local talents in the UAE, Wasla had invited Shaghaf to open for the biggest bands in the region. The lineup included some of the Arab world's most famous bands such as Cairokee, Massar Egbari, 47 Soul, Mashrou' Leila and El Morabba3. Shaghaf opened the festival by performing 4 songs from their upcoming EP.
Battle of the Bands at NYUAD[edit | edit source]
Battle of the Bands at NYUAD (BoB) started off as a concert, contest, and initiative by award-winning professor Matteo Marciano in an attempt to bring together NYUAD's and Abu Dhabi's local music communities together. The competition had 10 acts all comprising of bands, solo acts and acapella groups all competing for first place. The winner of BoB is offered the opportunity to record their EP album at NYUAD's recording studio.
The first edition took off in May 2017 with over 300 people attending the event. Shaghaf took part in the second edition of BoB in December 2017 competing against other local talents such as 1 AM, Khalifa Nasser and Vera Ciocca. They managed to win first place and are currently recording and producing their first EP set for release in 2019. This was marked as Shaghaf's main career turning point.
Discography[edit | edit source]
Singles[edit | edit source]
All tracks written by Shaghaf.
|Debut Single (2016)|
Band members[edit | edit source]
- Ahmed Mitry – Lead Vocals, Guitar (2016–present)
- Sara Fakhry – Lead Vocals, Keyboard (2016–present)
- Youssef Azzam – Drums, Percussion and Backing Vocals (2016–present)
- Ali Souidan – Bass Guitar (2016–present)
- Hussein Sobh – Electric Guitar (2017–present)
- Aaron Marcus Willers – Electric Guitar (2019–present)
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Winners of NYU Abu Dhabi's Battle of the Bands 2017
References[edit | edit source]
- "Shaghaf Perform at TEDxYouth@MNS". TEDxYouth@MNS. 1 March 2017.
- "Egypt's Getting It's First Battle Of The Bands". Cairo Scene. 25 May 2016.
- "Battle of the Bands Round 1: 3ala Kefna vs Alexander vs Shaghaf". Cairo Scene. 10 August 2016.
- "Artkhana Sheds Light on Egypt's Underground Bands". Qahwet Masr. 16 July 2017.
- "Mashrou' Leila, Cairokee and Massar Egbari are all coming together at the WASLA Festival". Mashable Middle East. 28 March 2019.
- "Mashrou' Leila, Cairokee and Massar Egbari are all coming together at the WASLA Festival". The Gazelle. 6 April 2019.
- "Shaghaf Wins Battle of the Bands". Gazelien Records. 11 January 2019.
[edit | edit source]
Others articles of the Topic Egypt : Ahmad Al-Shahhat, Amiria Press, Moustafa Nouraldeen
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