The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Nas W Nas

Cairokee: Nas W Nas

  • Cairokee
  • Alternative & IndiePop...
  • Out now
  • Cairokee Productions
  • iTunes & Virgin Megastore
reviewed by
Aliaa Serry
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Cairokee: Nas W Nas

With an epic debut back in 2011, Cairokee have successfully snuck into the pulse of the Egyptian underground music scene, thanks to their politically-charged singles and relatable lyrics. Following making their way into the playlists of countless Egyptians, the rock band remains the poster child of popularized underground acts.

Releasing their 4th studio album, Nas W Nas, with a total of 12 tracks, the band finds itself sticking to a golden mean of sorts, not stressing too heavily on politics, and incorporating an array of themes that draws from everyday situations, making for an album that anyone from the working class masses to the bourgeoisie will find themselves relating to.

Said choice of multiple themes, is reminiscent of the their 3rd album, “El Sekka Shemal”, focusing more on social issues, criticising some and romanticising others. Genre-wise, the band takes what seems like a partial break from heavy rock beats and delves deeply into laid back indie and pop-rock.

“Ghamad Einak” showcases Amir Eid’s ability to skilfully hit high notes against a baroque pop-inspired backdrop with a hint of rap, whereas “Marboot Be Astek” boasts a more futuristic 80s disco-pop sound, as Amir croons about a pretentious crowd at a party.

Drawing from traditional folkloric Egyptian music, “El Baka Baka” features a lively criticism of all types of pollution and nuisances that highlight life in Egypt sung along the infectious beat of the tabla. “El Television” extends the theme of societal criticisms, unapologetically throwing apparent shade at Egyptian mainstream media and pop culture, with the lead guitarist Hawary, bass guitarist Adam El-Alfy and drummer Tamer Hashem boldly flaunting their instruments in the dynamic single.

Toning things down, Amir gently sings about his optimistic hopes and appreciation of the little things that make everyday life in Egypt all the more special, alongside relaxed beats and laid back guitar strums in “Wala Ma Aayez.” Cairokee’s non-cheesy approach to romance makes the indie-inspired “Neaddy El Sharea Sawa” endearingly touching as it describes a couple’s first date.

With both the original track and the remix included in the track list, “Geina El Donia Fi Laffa”’s remix is a power tune which both mixes oriental vibes with a house beat that  build up to a memorable drop. “Nas W Nas” sees Cairokee stealthily creep back to their political roots, as Eid’s emotional vocals chant about Egyptian martyrs.

All in all, Cairokee seem to have mastered the art of delivering songs that are highly relatable whilst still refreshing their signature style here and there. Nas W Nas has its moments of sheer euphoria and moments of ever so slight monotony, yet as a whole, sees the band mature into a genre purely of their own.

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JadaL, Autostrad and Mashrou’ Leila.

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