Mohannad: YouTube Fame, Gaming Glory & Being a Nile FM Newbie
Some people would argue that radio is a dying medium; yet, in Cairo, radio has firmly planted itself in our daily lives so much that we wouldn’t be able to imagine a day without the voices that relay news about the weather, local happenings and entertain us during our traffic-filled journey to where ever we’re going.
These voices have become our companions during our travels, commutes or even if it’s just a cruise; they’ve been with us wherever we went; and recently there has been a couple of new ones riding along with us. We sat down with one of the freshest faces, or rather voices, at Nile FM; a presenter that jumped from one show to another making him a jack of all trades when it comes to presenting. We speak of Mohannad Tarek Salem, the newest Egyptian presenter hosting the After-Drive Show.
Tell us a little about yourself – who is Mohannad?
Mohannad is a 24 year old Egyptian guy – I’m a game enthusiast for sure and I actually review games on the side. At Nile FM, I do After-Drive, Sunday to Wednesday from 7 to 9 and I’m actually an engineering graduate, but I’ve never worked as an engineer in my life. I did an internship for two months, didn’t get paid, then I worked at a bank and I even worked in sales for a travel agency – yeah I’m all over the place!
How does it feel to be one of Nile FMs youngest and newest faces?
It feels great, becausethe first time I sent them an email, I was 17.It was my freshman year in college, and I was doing engineering and didn’t know why I was doing it. I’ve been making YouTube videos ever since YouTube existed, because I wanted to entertain people. I listened to the radio and I was like,“I’d like to do that.”
How was it working with Zeinab on the afternoon show?
It was fantastic,because I used to listen to her back when Zeinab and Mickey used to do the show. She was super welcoming and super cool. I knew nothing about anything; nothing about mixers, nothing about the system, nothing. I just liked music and like to make people laugh,but she taught me everything I know and I’ll be forever grateful for that. It was a great nine months that we worked together.
You’ve shifted from being a co-host with Zienab to having your own show; how has that shift changed your approach?
It’s a totally different dynamic, because when you have a co-host, you riff off the other person, you can lean on that person to help you out; but when you’re doing the show alone, it’s totally different; you have the topic, you have to know at least where you start and where you end and what happens in the middle.
I’ve covered a lot of shows in the past year, too, when someone was sick or out, which has helped me out a lot. So when I started my own show, it wasn’t like doing it alone was new to me, but it definitely had more pressure.This show has my name on it so if this goes bad, I go bad!
How did you feel when you first heart the voice-over jingle guy say your name?
Dude, the first time I heard that I screamed out “Oh my god! That dude just said my name! I have no words to say! I’m about to cry!”
Which is more fun for you- being on your own or with a co-host?
I think both them have their pros and cons, because whenever I do a hand-over with someone, or whenever I do a whole show with someone, I have a lot fun and the thing that I love the most when having two people on the show is that the dynamic changes regarding your personalities. Zeinab and I would really roast each other,me and Shoukry would talk about the nerdy things, for example. I think it’s more fun when you’re with another person.
Is the persona that we get on the radio the same one we get in real life?
It absolutely is, but it’s amplified 200%.I usually get out of the studio and people be expect me to do the thing and joke around, and I’m like guys the battery is over – I save it for the show.
Has being on air effected your personal life?
My parents get really cheesy;I was sick last week and we went to the doctor with my dad, and he was like, “You know, my son does radio.”I’ve been recognised before, but there hasn’t been a huge change in my personal life. My friends are more or less the same. It’s just my dad and his cheesy shameless plugs.
If you can make it big in one of the two, which would you choose – YouTube or radio?
Ahh man! One of them is the oldest forms of media and the other is the newest.It’s such a double edged sword, because if you make it big on radio, you get picked up for voice acting for movies and TV.I would pick Youtube, at the end of the day for its creative freedom – I’m pretty weird and sometimes I make pretty weird shows, and some people get it, and some don’t. I once had a segment that was barnyard animals-themed…
What do like to do in your spare time?
I do my fair share of gaming, and #humblebrag, I’m the second in Africa overall for trophy hunting on Xbox.But on Xbox One, I’m number one in Africa and 54th worldwide in completed games and stuff. So I have to keep up because I get leaderboard pressure!
And fatmoe92? What’s that about?
That’s my gamer tag– I need to do something about it.Born 92 obviously, I used to be 125 Kgs so I was fat at the time, and I think I’m still fat in my head. And I liked Fat Joe the rapper at the time, so Fat Moe came to be.
Malcom X with Denzel Washington.
Most hated movie?
The Getaway with Ethan Hawk and Selina Gomez. It’s such a terrible movie and one of the few times I left the theatre while the movie was still playing.
Favourite music genre?
It’s so hard because I’ve been listening to everything, but it would be hip hop right now –even though I’m wearing an ACDC shirt.
Poets of the Fall and indie band, Daughter.
Most hated band?
I can’t get out of this clean, maybe Led Zepplin– but still I don’t hate them that much.
Favourite TV show?
Breaking Bad.It’s the one that really messed me up.
Most hated TV show?
Futurama. I didn’t get into it that much.
Rick & Morty.