During the week of July 10, Hesham Nazih got nominated for the Emmy award of Outstanding Music Composition For A Limited Or Anthology Series, Movie Or Special (Original Dramatic Score), for his work in Marvel’s Moonknight. It’s through the show that international audiences got acquainted with the brilliant work of the composer, but, whether you knew him by name or not, his work in Egypt could always be instantly recognised. He carved his mark on some of the most important Egyptian films and series of the past two decades. Let’s take a look at some of these works that are distinguished for his spin on them.
The most interesting thing about the star-studded film led by Ahmed Zaki is that when Hesham Nazih joined to compose the soundtrack, he was only a college student. That’s right! He was in his senior year studying Engineering at Cairo University; the furthest degree away from music, but he was so tremendously talented that he was accepted for such a job. It was definitely the right choice, as the soundtrack captured the heart and soul of the film and magnified the themes.
Nearly 19 years old, Tito is a remarkable figure in Egypt’s modern cinema, the peak of a new era that has perhaps overstepped its welcome now, but which in its initiation was a sight to behold. Tito is simply a modern tragedy starring Ahmed El-Saqa in the prime of his action-acting career; despite the action-crime nature of the film, it, alongside its characters, is one of the saddest of Egypt’s 21st-century cinema. The tone of the film is further accentuated due to Hesham Nazih’s soundtrack, which wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call the true star of the film. The depth of emotion it added to the film definitely elevated it to a whole other level.
Sleepless Nights (2003)
At its time of release, Sleepless Nights was considered one of Egypt’s modern cinema’s most controversial films. Perhaps to some, this is still the case. What marks this film though is mainly the depiction and discussion of taboo topics, and the subtle bittersweet nature at its core. There is a low stream of tensioned sadness that never leaves the film in any scene no matter its nature. Hesham Nazih’s work added to and refined this theme in a magnificent, memorable way.
The Seven Commandments (2014)
The only TV series on this list, and for a good reason. At its core, it’s a mixture between mysticism and painful realism. The series starts with seven siblings who decide to kill their sick father after the discovery of his hidden wealth that they are a little too eager to inherit. The corpse disappears after the deed, and it’s where our story begins. The music for this one particular show was one of the most important factors, as the balanced atmosphere could always break due to its delicate nature. However, because of Hesham Nazih’s command of the language of music, this never happened!