Is Cairo Still The Hub For Arab Singers Seeking Fame?

(MENAFN- Daily News Egypt) In the past, Arab singers regarded performing in Cairo as a stroke of luck. To be admired and recognised by fans who appreciate various art forms was a privilege. This sentiment was deeply ingrained in every Arab artist, especially those from the Levant region (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine) and North African countries (Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, and Morocco).

Egypt's esteemed artistic status as a pioneer in the Arab world and Africa contributed to this perception. Being famous in Egypt meant achieving true fame that resonated throughout the entire Arab region, unlike fame in any other Arab country.

Numerous examples highlight Egypt's preference for exceptional Arab stars. Legends like Farid Al-Atrash, Asmahan, Sabah, and Warda Al-Jazairia, influenced by musician Baligh Hamdi, left an indelible mark. Even stars from the '90s onward-such as Hamid Al-Shaeri, Saber Al-Rubai, Asala, George Wassouf, Kazem Al-Saher, Nancy Ajram, Haifa Wehbe, Assi Al-Helani, and Carole Samaha-found acclaim in Egypt.

However, other Arab cities have emerged as appealing destinations for singers across the region, including some of Egypt's artists. To explore this shift, we engaged art critics knowledgeable in the field. Their insights are presented in the following paragraphs.

Awakening from slumber: A call to revive Egypt's artistic legacy

Dr. Khairy Al-Malat, a violinist and professor at Helwan University, laments recent trends in Egypt's music industry. Unfavourable figures and voices have emerged, captivating a significant portion of the audience. Consequently, the musical landscape has become distorted, hindering genuinely talented individuals from finding their place.

Egypt, historically a thriving hub of arts and creativity, once wielded soft power to influence the world. Now, it's time to awaken, rise, and ignite an artistic renaissance. We must purge negativity and malevolence, wholeheartedly supporting genuine beauty.

Through concerted efforts, we can reclaim our esteemed position among nations and restore Egypt as the artistic heart of the Arab world, as it was in the previous century. The countless Arab singers who achieved success and fame here stand as a testament to this legacy.

Egypt remains the enduring gateway to success and fame

Dr. Ashraf Abdel Rahman, a Professor of Criticism and Music at the Academy of Arts, underscores that Egypt remains the ultimate platform for talented Arab individuals seeking fame. Several key factors contribute to this status: skilled musicians, well-equipped concert venues across different regions, and an unparalleled fan base in the Middle East.

The Egyptian audience's passion for the arts, coupled with robust media networks, solidifies Egypt's position as a magnet for Arab talents. Despite the emergence of other cities in the Arab world that attract artists, these places often draw inspiration from Egypt's rich musical heritage and artistic experiences.

Challenges, such as post-revolution periods and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, have affected Egypt's music scene. Nevertheless, the country remains a pivotal destination for Arab artists aiming for widespread recognition. Renowned Arab artists still prioritize performing in front of Egyptian audiences, emphasizing Egypt's enduring significance as the gateway to success and fame for artists across the Arab world.

Correcting past missteps: Nurturing talent and elevating performances

Musician Sherif Abbas reflects on Egypt's past allure for artists from various Arab countries. However, the current landscape differs significantly. Many Arab capitals and cities now organise concerts and artistic events that attract substantial audiences.

Dubai's concerts in the United Arab Emirates, the Riyadh season in Saudi Arabia, and other successful events have shifted attention away from Egypt as a famous destination. Egyptian singers themselves increasingly choose to perform outside their home country, impacting other Arab stars' decisions. Despite this, Egyptian singers remain the most renowned and famous in the Arab region.

Factors contributing to this shift include declining artistic quality in some performances and the rise of“Mahraganat” (Egyptian electro) songs. Additionally, the scarcity of large-scale public opera concerts has played a role. While Saudi Arabia embraces and celebrates singing stars, Egypt's organisers have sometimes neglected them since the 1990s.

Notably, Egypt witnessed unprecedented celebrations for Najat and Mayada El-Hanawi. To rectify the situation, nurturing talents, showcasing them in various public venues, organizing state-of-the-art concerts, and attracting top singers should be prioritized this year.


Daily News Egypt

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