October ‘14
Insight Interview

October ‘14
Nesma Mahgoub
Nesma Mahgoub


Nesma Mahgoub is the complete package of a real artist. With a forceful voice and multi-talents including acting and dancing in her resume, she continues to deliver the kind of performance that gives us chills of admiration. Following her coming projects, the young star is promised a bright future and a top place on the international chart of fame.

When did you discover your passion for music and singing?

I discovered it when I was a little girl trying to play all the melodies I like on the keyboard and was always trying to sing in the music classes at school.

When did you decide to participate in 'Star Academy'?

Honestly, I never watched 'Star Academy' or any other Reality Show of this kind before I decided to participate in the 8th season of Star Academy. I watched a couple of videos and I fell in love with the stage, the dancers, the production, the set and the glamour. I decided that I want to stand and perform on this stage.

How can you describe that experience, and what did you learn in the academy?

It was a huge experience. It made me realize that being a singer does not only depends on the talent but also on the looks, the creative team working backstage and the management team planning for every single detail. I also learned to deal with people from different backgrounds and that have different beliefs, thoughts and even dialects.

How did you feel when you won the final prime?

I was very proud of myself. I worked very hard for it and I made sure that I focus only on my aim and not anything else, because art is discipline.

Are you still in touch with any of your colleagues in the academy?

Some of them.

What changed in your life and personality after becoming a celebrity?

Almost everything. I lost weight (about 15 kilos). I now have less privacy than any other young lady in my age (24 years), which is one of the disadvantages of fame. I started to take this career more seriously and start planning business strategies with the help of my managing team, Modern Touch (aka Magued Makram), which takes care of me, my dreams, my achievements and my success.

How can you describe the current political scene in Egypt and its effect on the music industry?

Of course, the political scene has a huge effect on the music industry in the Arab world. It affected concerts, producers and all artistic productions negatively. Even the audiences started to shift their attention to politics and news rather than watching video clips or attending concerts or musicals. Now, thank God, it's becoming much better with more security in Egypt. People started to go out and be interested in knowing more about the arts life. Politics affects not only the audiences but also the artists themselves because one cannot entertain people, when feeling sad, worried depressed and unsafe in one's own country. I personally believe that artists have a message to their lovers and fans all over the world. I worked and am still working on getting through to everybody and always trying to be there for them and making them happy.

Would you consider acting at some point in your career?

Of course, I would love to act in movies, TV series and plays/musicals. I graduated from The American University in Cairo with a Bachelor in Musical Arts in Performance and I minored in Theater. I participated in lots of acting and singing shows in my university and I took the leading role of AUC's production of the baroque opera 'Dido & Aeneas' by Henry Purcell. I also joined the musical theater company 'Fabrica', founded by the famous soprano and my voice teacher, Dr. Neveen Allouba. I performed the role of 'Eponine' in the famous musical, 'Les Miserables', in its Arabic version. After its great success in AUC and in the famous show, 'Elbernameg', hosted by Dr. Bassem Youssef, we toured with 'Les Misrable' in the United States last January 2014. Now I am performing the leading role in the new original Arabic musical, 'Donia Habibty'. It's a political musical comedy, which talks about the Muslim Brotherhood's political issues throughout the year of Mohammed Morsy's presidency in Egypt. The musical is directed by the famous director, Galal Elsharkawy and it's starring: Kamal Abu Raya, Reda Idris, Sayed Gabr, Injy Khattab and Ayman Ismail. This is a great chance for me to show everybody that Nesma Mahgoub is not only a singer and an actress but also a dancer.

You lately released your version of 'Let It go', how did it all happen?

Dr. Jihan Elnasser, the known Arabic Disney singer and musical director of all Disney animation movies, called me to meet her at the studio and try out Elsa's role in Disney's 'Frozen'. I dubbed the whole role of 'Elsa' not only the songs. It was a fun experience that I would love to repeat again. After a couple of months, I watched a video where a university in Boston, USA, is teaching their music students how to sing my dubbed version of 'Let it go' in Arabic. I was very proud also because the Arabic version, which I sang, was chosen to be one of the top ten dubbed languages for the song.

What are your coming projects?

I am working on new singles and a remix for one of the songs of my first album 'Hatolly eh'. I am reading several scripts but still debating which would go first, my singing career versus my acting career. At the time being, I am very busy with the musical I am performing in but I am trying to manage rehearsing with my band members to get ready for the upcoming concert season. Recently, I collaborated with the new talented band 'Phonograph'. We released our first project, a new remix of the famous song 'Salemouli ala Masr'. We are working on several more remixes and duets.

My favourite getaway is watching a Hindi movie and enjoying their magical Bollywood dances, songs, costumes and emotions.

By Rania Ihab