Being on the radio isn’t a walk in the park; you either make it or break it! We met with Sherif Nour El Din host of Bokra Ahla Maa’ Coca Cola on Mega FM to discuss media, music and stalkers!
1. People have been holding grudges against media in Egypt for the past couple of years, what do you think about the direction media seems to be moving in lately?
I think the problem is that the audiences are split into two groups, ages 50 and above and ages 20 and above, and they’re both being addressed by 50-year-old mentalities who control almost 90% of the media field in Egypt. This creates a huge intellectual gap. We should start having younger voices. Bassem Youssef was a great success because younger generations could relate to him.
2. As a Radio host, what do you think needs to change in the media field?
Youth and radio hosts should use their full potential and try to reach out to the generations who are unheard. This can be done by something as simple as making them laugh by telling a joke they can relate to.
Audiences are split into two groups, ages 50 and above and ages 20 and above, and they’re both being addressed by 50-year-old mentalities who control almost 90% of the media field in Egypt.
I try to find the silver lining that came out of the political wars. Sometimes we can’t avoid speaking about politics, so we talk, but with a positive angle so that audiences won’t feel like their sky is falling.
4. Audiences have shifted their likes from mainstream music to independent bands and new underground talents. Do you tend to the audience’s demand or do you have to follow channel policies?
Mega FM is designed as a more commercial channel, since we have channels that are specialized in other genres of music, but we still do make an effort to have a variety of genres on Mega FM. We host bands on the show and play their music, we host guests like Hisham Kharma the musician and play their music as well. So we manage to have a large variety.
5. Recently, it seems like you don’t have to be successful to be famous and you’re not necessarily famous despite being extremely successful. What do you think?
True, very true! (Laughs).But being famous eventually fades away when it isn’t well deserved. In media, if you’re respectful of your audience and you’re really striving to give out something that is worthy, people are going to hold you at a high place, because you’ve earned it. If you haven’t, you’ll be quickly forgotten.
6. As a Radio Host, your voice pretty much determines whether people will like you or not. How do you know if your voice is appealing enough?
It was incredibly hard at the beginning since I originally come from a TV presenting background. With practice however, you find your voice based on the quick responses you get from the audience. This is one of the perks of the job; you get almost immediate feedback from listeners, then work accordingly to improve. It’s like you’re chatting with a group of friends.
7. What do you think of the banning of Aida Seoudy’s show, considering that we’re now a “Democratic Country” that supposedly encourages freedom of Speech?
Aida’s show was brought back two days later through a presidential decree. Some of the figures who still function with an oppressive state of mind thought they would be able to get away with oppressing people’s voices without legal proof, but justice always finds a way.
8. Name a person from another time that you would have liked to interview?
Audrey Hepburn and Youssef Chahine.
9. Who’s the best guest you’ve ever had on your show?
Director Mohammed Yassin was one of my favorites because I was worried about having to interview him but it turned out to be the best interview I’ve ever done. Lara Scandar was also an extremely fun guest.
10. What’s the creepiest message you’ve ever received?
I once had a stalker! Does that count as creepy?