Every month WHAT A TUNE picks the best new music from around the world. Listen to desert-inspired dark synths, addictive flute hooks and a folk-mahraganat crossover direct from Cairo. (See the bottom of the page for the full playlist.)
Adham Seliman – El Zaina
Earlier this year Adham Seilman released the romantic wedding ballad Enty, complete with jazzy saxophone for bonus cheese. Now let’s ditch the slow dancing, his new Arabic Pop single El Zaina is for the after party. It’s got a big bass line, big chorus hooks and it’s an overall big tune. it’s not the most original song out there, but I am LIVING for that flute drop.
Mohamed Hamaki – Talea Mooda
After a two-year absence, the singer is back and clearly on a roll, having released four new singles this August. Talea Mooda is the fourth song to be released from Hamaki’s new album, Ya Fatenny. Funky guitar rhythms accompany slick guitar riffs in this song about dance floor romance.
Sahara – Almena
The six-member band hail from Alexandria but are tipped to go global. They recently signed with Universal MENA and became the first Egyptian band to ever record in Abbey Road studio. In Sahara, the dark synths replicate the expansive and arid landscape, perhaps almost otherworldly. However, the guitar embellishments offer a distinctly Egyptian flavour.
Dina El Wedidi X DJ Totti – Ya Badr
Indie folk singer Dina El Wedidi has teamed up with producer DJ Totti, a big name on the mahraganat scene (underground Egyptian dance music). The song blends mawwal (a popular Arabic genre of vocal music, characterized by a slow beat and sentimental lyrics) with experimental electronica. Rather like looking into the shifting reflections of running water, DJ Totti adds his signature electronic twist to the song through warped tempos and vocals, and big beats. It’s unsettling yet addictive.
Ruby – Lazeat Khofash
Lazeat Khofash is about picking yourself up and going out dancing after a betrayal. It’s an instantly likeable tune, the melancholy accordion, bouncy flute and the light drumming pair beautifully with Ruby’s quavering silky voice. The wild flurry of the instrumental outro leaves you wanting more. The Egyptian singer-actress has previously attracted criticism for her music videos deemed too sexually provocative, but this only served to heighten her popularity. Her new music will surely cement her reputation as a fun and fearless hit maker.