Cairo Calling


Rinse FM, a London-based broadcaster, and Cairo-based 100 Copies are to form a groundbreaking new programme called 'Cairo Calling'. The programme, supported by the British Council, aims to bridge Cairo's mahraganat and London's electronic music scene.

Celebrating new artistic and cultural movements in Egypt, Cairo Calling aims to support the young artists and independent organisations that are the engines of those movements. Rinse FM will work with pioneers of the mahraganat music scene, or as it's more commonly referred to, 'electro-shaabi': an up-tempo take on Egyptian folk music incorporating traditional instruments sampled and spliced to frenetic time signatures that has become the soundtrack of Egyptian youth culture. Read the Egypt's Mahragan Music Mania blog for an introduction to some of the pioneers.

Rinse FM and the British Council have been working closely with 100Copies and leading figures from the mahraganat scene in Egypt to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with capacity for creative growth on both sides. Mahraganat artists will receive support to grow, navigate and monetise their own industry and in return the UK participants will gain an unprecedented insight into both traditional and contemporary North African and Arabic music blueprints. Building on the reciprocal relationship formed at the first London phase in January, UK artists will travel to Egypt in March 2014 to take part in the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) in Cairo. 

The first collaboration of its kind on this scale, Cairo Calling will create an on-going series of takeovers and documentaries on Rinse FM, as well as a documentary introducing the shaabi/mahraganat scene to a western audience via Rinse TV. Rinse will release a project album of material produced mahraganat songs produced during the project. The London and Cairo phases allowed for creative and professional development through collaborations and masterclasses, including but not limited to studio techniques, song collaboration, utilising social media, marketing, managerial skills, event production and label management.

Five UK and four Egyptian (listed below) artists will form a core group taking part in development phases in both London and Cairo, showcasing individual talent from Egypt and the UK and sharing the best collaborative work at public events, the first of which took place in London 15 - 19 January 2014 whilst the Cairo phases took in late March. See the project pages for the London and Cairo phases.

UK Participants

Kode 9, Artwork, Faze Miyake, Pinch, Mumdance

Egyptian Participants

DJ Figo, Sadat, Diesel, Knaka

Mahmoud Refat - 100 Copies owner, prolific event promoter and revered underground music conduit
Noov Senary - Artist Management

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