“Shallow songs that were being produced in the past are vanishing and new useful and respectable art is on its way to spread through the community”
Only few artists have managed to reinvent themselves while staying true to their sounds, Hamza Namira is surely one of them. He started playing music at the age of 17 for music was the only means by which he could convey his thoughts. Namira met with Awakening Records team members in 2004 through a group of common friends, and they realized that they had a lot in common, namely the aim to influence people in a positive way and make a difference through music.
In your opinion, what are the major pillars of becoming a professional musician?
There are three main pillars in my point of view. Firstly, one has to be able to convey emotions. Secondly, he has to have a clear vision in which he strongly believes; it is not all about being famous, you know. Finally, one should be accepting to learn, not only wanting to prove that his decisions are the best. He should be capable of realizing his faults, apologizing for them, and learning the lessons that he was meant to learn. Those three pillars along with hard work – disregarding the consequences – are the secret ingredients in my point of view.
In what why did religion play a role in your personality?
It affected me as a human being. It was there that my manners were shaped, since religion positively influences manners and traits. In other words, it helps to establish the main cornerstones at a very young age. It constructs the base from which you start moving on, all through your life. It links religion to life and gives one a purpose to live for.
What are the recently played tracks on your iPod?
The last thing I heard in my car were some Turkish CDs.
Out of all your songs, which is your favorite one?
It is really hard for an artist to choose between the songs he has worked on, but if I was to choose, I would say that my top favorites are “Sout” & “Ew’edouny”, from the new album “Insan”.
What was your turning point to start loving music after your hatred towards it when you were a child?
When I was 10 years old, I used to hate music because of a bad music teacher who once taught me! When I turned 17, I started realizing my musical affection. During my secondary school years, I specifically liked playing Guitar the most. So, I started composing. My friends and family members admired my work and that gave me more energy to continue.
Can you tell us more about the Nomaira experience?
After leaving “Love & Peace” band, I thought of starting the band Nomaira with a group of friends, being the lead vocalist myself. My main aim was to come up with new ideas and tunes through the teamwork ideology used in bands. We all still work together with the same ideology until now, but not under the name Nomaira anymore. 70% of the “Dream with Me” album was done during Nomaira’s days, as well as “Sout” from “Insan” Album. It was an amazing experience, and a time through which I got enough practice on singing and composing through almost 20 or 30 live concerts.
What are your plans on International level?
This is how I think about it. I have three different levels to focus on; Egypt, the Arab World and Internationally. They can be better thought of as three circles inside one another. The closest circle, being the Egyptian public, is the one I’m working on right now, disregarding the different circumstances that the country is passing through. The second circle is the one of the Arab World. The song “Heila Heila” is a great example for art directed at this level. The farthest circle is that of International level. For the time being, I have no plans in that aspect. I’m focusing more on the previous two circles. Maybe I’d start focusing on it sometime in the future, but right now I have hardly enough time for the other two.
What do you advise young musicians in the scene?
Don’t ask for fame or money.
How did you find the “Ala el Ahwa” experience?
It was a really interesting and new experience. People used to portray the café (the ahwa) as a bad place where worthless people sit together with nothing to do other than smoking and harming their health. It was a challenge for me because I wanted to portray that experience from a different perspective; a more positive one.
When I go to a café, I usually enjoy being with my friends, talking about problems, fears and concerns, and mingling with people from all walks of life. It is a main part of the Egyptian culture. So I thought that portraying the positives of such an experience would deepen the Egyptian identity and patriotism. What made it an even more special experience was the fact that the amazing Ahmad Yunis used it as the title for his radio program “A’l Ahwa” on Nogoum FM, and gave it much more exposure.
Other than music, what do you like to do?
I like reading and I enjoy writing. I also spend my spare time with my family. I enjoy traveling inside Egypt with them.
How do you see the music scene in Egypt in the coming 5 years?
I’m optimistic. The musical conI’m optimistic. The musical content in Egypt is going to develop greatly. People need songs that portray how they really feel, and artists are starting to understand this and act accordingly. Shallow songs that were being produced in the past are vanishing and new useful and respectable art is on its way to spread through the community. The need for this has already been established. People need art that addresses their minds and souls not shallow art that is only done to sell. I also think that the music industry as a whole will start booming, and people will stop downloading songs and videos illegally. Their morals will not permit them to do this anymore; they would choose to support such good art instead.
Do you know what women want?
They want the exact same things like men. They need to be understood. Women also need to express what they have inside, to convey their ideas and beliefs, and to find someone attentively listening to them along the way.