What is your first musical memory?
I grew up in Cairo in a building together with my family and extended family. I guess my first musical memory is singing on the staircase with my sisters and cousins. I also remember my father buying lots of different kinds of tapes and CDs and listening to them together on Friday mornings.
Tell us more about Cairo…
Cairo’s big, loud, and intense. It’s influenced me in every way possible. It’s super lively. From a young age I got used to the noise, and from that I got into very loud music. I think I just needed something that was louder than the city, you know?
Which artists particularly inspired you when you were growing up?
I listened to a lot of different kinds of pop music that came out in the early 2000s. There were many different singers at that time, like Sherene and Elisa. I also strongly remember listening to these special compilation tapes that music shops put together and released over the summer months. They featured a wide range of singers from all over the Arab world, both old and new. They brought together so many different eras in a kind of insane mixtape situation.