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UK and Egypt Musicians Respond to Cairo Calling

Ahram Online   in  ·
March 2, 2015

On Thursday 27 March, Cairo Calling programme will infuse the Sherazade Nightclub stage as part of the music activities held by the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF), a multidisciplinary festival taking place between 20 March and 11 April in Cairo and Alexandria.

Supported and initiated by the British Council, Cairo Calling aims to create cross-border cultural relations between artists in the UK and their peers across the globe. By selecting Egypt’s 100COPIES Music production — a music label founded by Mahmoud Refat — and London’s Rinse FM radio airwaves dedicated to promoting the urban music community, Cairo Calling specifically creates a platform between London and Cairo for electronic musicians to network, exchange ideas and knowledge, inspire and help one another.

From the Egyptian scene, the cultural exchange included leading figures from the mahraganat (also known as electro-chaabi) which can be roughly generalised as electro folk — a music genre born in the underprivileged Cairo neighbourhood called Salam City. Its icons are Sadat, Oka & Ortega, Weza, Fig, Amra Haha and Islam Chipsy. The latter, who participates in this year’s D-CAF, has already performed on the festival’s opening day on 20 March in Sherazade Club.

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