After a performance at Sound Clash, that left the audience with their jaws scraping the floors and– especially after “Insan Gedid” with Mostafa Hosny – we had a quick sit with the singing sensation to discuss career politics, dreams, and of course Abdelrahman Roshdy’s musical passion.
1. Did you always know singing was the career you wanted to pursue?
No actually. I come from a multi-talented family but apparently my talent was a late-bloomer. I didn’t even know I had a singing voice. In high school I realized I had a talent for writing so I wrote and practiced singing by myself. When a friend heard me and liked my singing, I approached my parents about it. I think their excitement was more of a relief that I wasn’t talentless (laughs).
Most people have formed a twisted image about anybody who speaks of religion. And what better way to remedy that than with music?
2. Why did you choose to focus on Sufi music?
My passion for Sufi and spiritual arts was my driving force. I wanted to leave a positive impact using music and came to the conclusion that most people have formed a twisted image about anybody who speaks of religion. And what better way to remedy that than with music?
3. You’re relatively new to the field, but does being a Musician pay the rent in Egypt’s current circumstances?
I think so yes, but I currently work at my family business alongside my music projects. We have a water treatment company that I need to maintain, which causes me to work all day and then head to an 18-hour shoot. It’s really hard sometimes, but when you’re doing something you’re this passionate about it doesn’t really matter.
I believe that being creative in whatever field you’re in will always be taken into consideration.
4. How did you and Moustafa Hosny get together on creating a Ramadan program?
This was actually funny. Before I sang professionally I had a list of people I wanted to sing beside. Cairokee was on top of that list, and so were Zap Tharwat and several others. A common friend introduced Cairokee and I, a week later I was on an episode of the Program Microphone. And a short while later, Cairokee asked me to be their Wild Card at the Sound Clash concert and everything progressed from there. I was introduced to Mostafa Hosny and the collaboration was all I could’ve wished for.
5. In Sound Clash, the first time you ever sang live you sang Sufi; a genre that might’ve been very different to the crowds coming for Cairokee and Sharmoofers. Weren’t you worried about the audience’s reaction?
I believe that being creative in whatever field you’re in will always be taken into consideration. I wrote “Roh”, the song I sang at Sound Clash, and it was the first Egyptian Sufi song infused with rock to be produced in Egypt. I got my first fan message while I was still on stage.
6. What’s the message you’re trying to convey to your audience through your choice of music and lyrics?
I might be the youngest person in the field that’s doing what I’m doing right now mixing spirituality with music – but I have three core beliefs that I’m trying to convey; first your belief in God will get you anywhere, your faith in yourself will take you places you’ve never imagined, and third, believing in your dreams; that is the most important step you’ll ever take, no matter what field you’re in.