New Wave of Electronic Music: Eight Rising Cairo DJs to Look Out For
Egypt has a storied history with music and the arts, but what we might consider the contemporary or modern music scene(s) are relatively young; there are only a handful of venues for musicians to get regular gigs at and the collective Cairene conscious isn’t always inviting to the new and the different.
But something is, and has been, rumbling; festivals, including Oshtoora, Theater of Dreams and SANDBOX, are becoming more and more frequent, longer and better-attended; event organisers are appearing left, right and centre, and the electronic music scene is possibly benefitting most and experiencing a rebirth of sorts.
Everyone is well versed with the better known DJs in Cairo – think Amr Hosny, Mohasseb, Tamer Auf and the like. Most of them have been around for years and will continue to gig around the capital and elsewhere; but a new and steady wave of talent has been washing over Cairo like a cool summer breeze; venues like VENT are ready and willing to give some of the more obscure DJs and producers a shot and initiatives like Student DJ providing a platform for exposure and learning.
This new blood can only do wonders for the music scene and there are already a few names that have already shined – ones that you should look out for.
Man-O excels at breaking the rules and has been seen doing so most recently at Maadi bar, the Tap. While everyone expects standard four-on-the-floor house beats, Man-O will very easily surprise you with his ability to go in and out of musical styles on a whim. You may even think of him as Minus T’s prodigal son.
Chiati is one of the youngest DJs and music producers in Cairo. Previously the guitarist to rock band, Bandetta, he launched his DJ career shortly after taking part in Student DJ 2014, making his electronic music debut through local label, Besworx. His style revolves around darker, moodier techno cuts – perfect for after parties.
Fresh out of the 2015 Student DJ program, Mai El Sabi has quickly propelled herself through the ranks of rising DJs in Cairo. Regularly gigging in Cairo Jazz Club, Mai is challenging the stereotypes about female DJs, and doing so in spectacular style after garnering a loyal cult following in a matter of weeks after she first showcased her talents as part of SDJ.
Student DJ 2015’s runner-up in what was a close final. Though the tech-house loving DJ may not have won the competition, Fahmy left his mark and has gone on to amass a following of dedicated fans that have followed him around Cairo and Egypt.
Tripoli-born DJ, Mohamed Sadek, is Egypt’s own king of all things indie and disco. This young talent has been around since the first wave of Electrum Records’ Red Beats DJ battle competition, and was one of the first DJs to unleash French disco before the fad took over Cairo’s music and nightlife scenes
Making his debut at Nacelle’s House Sessions, Saleh hit the ground running and very quickly made a name for himself by playing an outstanding opening set for Danish heavyweight DJ and producer, René "Noir" Kristensen and is scheduled to play a set you definitely don’t want to miss at SANDBOX 2015 in Gouna at the end of the month.
The winner of Student DJ 2015 isn’t built like the atypical DJ. Cairo 360 assistant editor by day, tech connoisseur by night, Gaser first emerged on the scene by making his debut at a special Nacelle event with another musical endeavour of his, the Meteors Project, whose live performances use electronic beats and live instrumentation. Since winning SDJ, he has gone on to be part of local label, Besworx.
We love duos, and while both M Fayek and Sebzz have established themselves individually as top DJs, they are solid prrof that two heads are better than one, often unleashing immense back-to-back sets featuring deep bass lines and interesting, unique melodies.