June ‘13
Insight Interview

June ‘13
Razan & Amro El Meligy Are Brining Sonic Power!
Razan & Amro El Meligy Are Brining Sonic Power!


    


The ever gracious and glamorous Ms. Razan Moughraby talks with Insight regarding a new musical project: a duet with rising talent Mr. Amro El Meligy. The album, which is titled 'Breaking Me Down', is their pet project and collaboration featuring hip and rhythmic tunes capitalizing on the genre of Dub Step and underground clubbing sonic beats. We had the pleasure of speaking to both artisans on their exciting ventures and on the personal significance of the single to them respectively.

Razan Moughraby


How did the collaboration with newcomer Amro El Meligy come about?

Amr Meligy was very promising performer and showed a lot of potential. I liked his previous videos when he was starting out and I thought he had something to offer. He showed such tenacity in reaching out to me and proposing a collaboration and I liked his persistence.


What spurred you to venture with an English song in the Arab?

To prove that I had the courage to pull it off. To attempt and produce an English song in the Arab world was bold move, and I believe it paid off. I like trying new things and be cutting-edge and experimental. I feel it was better for me as an artist to try something different than what's the industry norm. I like to be bold.


Who was your biggest performing inspiration?

They're so many. But I had the pleasure of meeting some real megastars and trendsetters like Madonna, who exudes such glamor, Shakira and Rhiannna, Beyonce and J-Lo. They're so elegant and formidable divas. And each has her own distinctive flare: Shakira's choreography is phenomenal; Rhianna's voice is so sultry and evocative. Their continual showmanship and talent shines in every production they do. Beyonce too is another sensational talent I try to emulate because she never repeats herself, she always reinvents her image and takes risks, I like that.


Whom would you love to work with the most in the entertainment industry?

I always aim for the 'New', the 'Fresh', the 'Unique' and the 'Interesting'. I love to work and surround myself with talented people, fresh, committed artists who believe in their dreams, work hard and give their best to reach their goals. I have my eyes set on some talented directors, actors and actresses not to forget some leading scriptwriters too.


In the midst of these troubled times, what do you feel mission as an artist?

My mission as an artist is to try to spread hope in these tumultuous times; to remain uplifting and affirmative. I consider the cardinal sin of any artist to remain complacent as if he reached a success plateau or to be driven solely by revenue and box office, his work must be deeper than that; his work must be socially relevant. I'm not interested in merely being a glammed up celebrity wearing fashionable clothes, I want to spur positive change, to enlighten, to inspire. I'm trying to promote a sense of philanthropy in artists, a greater encouragement of giving back to the fans.


What would you like to say to your legions of fans?

To always be persistent and tenacious in your goals, that when you stumble you should pick yourself up and face challenges with fervor and determination. Follow your dreams and be fearless, that's my message for my fans.


How you categorize your performing style?

I'm eclectic as a performer with a voracious appetite for keeping my performance repertoire more versatile and non-comparable. I would never try to approach a song like any other performer; I always do it my way, my own concept and no one else's. ''My way' that's my performance motto.


You've always been recognized as avant-garde and pushing the boundaries, how do you manage to keep this momentum?

Like I said I'm interested in trying new things, I like the idea of being the first at something, of being a pioneer. I like to think outside the box and try to achieve unconventional things. I have an eye for unique projects, projects that push the envelope and are a little daring. I don't calculate and assess my image before I perform, I just want to do sensational work, I'm artistically impulsive and totally driven by intuition and instinct. That's my essence as a performer.


How did the Dub Step genre appeal to you?

It's so rhythmic and invigorating, it enraptures you in its beat. I'm a very musical person, I am classically trained pianist, so I'm reactive to sound and I've always had an affinity for the underground clubbing milieu, it was so edgy and enthralling. I adore dance and Dub Step invigorated me, it took a hold of me: body and soul. I relished it.


What inspires your choice of lyrics and sound rhythm?

I like looking at the classics. I adore the exuberant musical productions of ''Annie', ''West Side Story', ''Singin' In The Rain' and 'Chicago'. I also adore the old-school masters like Barbara Streisand in ''Funny Girl'' and Liza Minnelli because she was just so ravishing in ''Cabaret'. So I'd occasionally like to go over a classic musical gem and find inspiration, 'The Sound of Music' is another favorite. But the performers whom I idolize have to be Fayrouz and Dalida, they're just magical and ethereal with the most astonishing voices I've ever heard, they set the bar for all the new generation.


What do you feel this new duet will set as a precedent for the Arab music industry?

Veteran performers usually don't work with newcomers, I took a chance because I felt Meligy had special talent and his unbridled enthusiasm was palpable. When he proposed the idea for a duet, he was so committed and courageous it was almost like a marriage proposal, and the duet was almost like a marriage really. One of the reasons I took on the venture was to set an example of an artist branching out for the support of a neophyte emerging talent, to promote a sense of solidarity among artists.


What are upcoming projects for Ms. Maghraby?

I am currently shooting my scenes in the upcoming Ramadan series 'Hikayat Hayah' with the beautiful Ghada Abdel Razek. My role was a complete challenge for me! I can't wait for Ramadan to come to know what people think of it. I am also preparing a new song for kids which will be shot in Turkey and released in the near future besides working on a new single. In addition to reading a lot of interesting scripts hoping to find what suits me the most.


How do you balance your personal life with your career? ~

Well my personal life is my career and vice versa. I make friends while working and I love it. To me, my life is my work, my career, my achievements and my archive. I try my best to set the perfect balance between my work, my loved ones and my new personal projects. I'm in the business of creating and making and producing and what's better than venturing into your own business of creating a family and kids aside with your successful career.


What ambition would you still like to achieve as a performer? ~

One ambition was and will always be my one and only ever since I was a teenager and it's to make a change, a difference, to be able to live life and more through my work, my character, my personality and my gift.


Fun Question: What is Razan's favorite place for an exotic summer getaway? Why?

We all do need to run away and relax from time to time.


Amro El Meligy:


Tell us a bit about yourself?

Well I'm an Aries I was born in Nice, France and raised in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. I've been crazy with music ever since I was three years old. I would participate in all my school talent shows, whether I was singing or acting or dancing I was always there. I was awarded 'Most Talented' at my high school graduation.


Where did you receive your training and how was your upbringing conducive to your career?

I started out training with opera instructor Dr. Neveen Allouba who helped me a lot with my vocals and I also trained with Dr. Amira El Nasser who helped me a lot with my Arabic singing.


How did you debut in the music world?

In 2005 I was part of ECHO Band we had a song released with Mohamed Hamaki in a compilation album called 'Delta Hits', we toured here and there but it was just never enough for me so in 2011 I launched my own solo career with my first single 'Hangin' There' and was followed with my 2nd single 'Maba2etsh Zay El Awel' last summer and now I'm working on my first album.


How did your single 'Maba2etsh Zay el Awal ' bring you more into the public eye?

It actually did very well, after doing 'Hangin' There I had to do 'Maba2etsh Zay El Awel' to show people that I could also sing in Arabic and that I wasn't just an English underground singer and that there was more to see from me. The song brought back a lot of positive feedback along with the quirky funny video I did for it, I had Nola Cupcakes with me in the video and had the whole video running with their cake in the streets to take my revenge from the girl who broke my heart


Who has been your musical inspiration?

I'm a 90's boy so I must admit that 90's music really did affect me as a kid, I know now days we call it cheesy pop or corny music but the fact is it did even affect now days singers in everything, So you can say I was inspired by Justin Timberlake, Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin to Chris Brown and Bruno Mars.


Tell us about your experience with Disney?

Well I've always been a Disney geek, actually the first songs I ever sang where from Disney movies, and I always had in the back of my mind that someday I would work with them in any of their films, I auditioned for the role of the prince in the Arabic version of 'Princess and The Frog' but sadly the guy who has been doing Mickey Mouse's voice for the past years took it so when I was offered to do the role of 'Young Macintosh' in their latest movie 'Brave' I just had to do it, It simply feeds the kid inside me, It was amazing to take part in the film even if it was just a small role, Working with Disney is like working on a classic: your voice stays there forever for all generations to come.


What's your preferred genre of music? Why?

I like all kinds of music except Metal. Pop, RnB and House are my favorites. I like music that would help me move on stage since I consider myself as a stage performer.


How are you trying to expand your profile in the Arab world?

Well besides working on my album, I'll be doing a few shows here and there this year to promote my music, I'm expected to hit Lebanon and Dubai very soon .


How would you characterize your musical style?

Well I do House music mainly but I've been finding myself delving into more genres lately I do House, Pop, Oriental and I have a Balad song in my album.


How did your collaboration with Miss Razan Maghraby come about?

Well when I was working on 'Breaking Me Down' it suddenly hit me why not have Razan with me in the song, She was my inspiration for the song and I just couldn't think of someone else doing it but her. So I called her to set a meeting with her and she was dying to know what was the meeting about, until we met I showed her my work and told her what my new song is going to be about and she just continued working with me on the ideas, so we just clicked and started working right away.


How was your experience working together?

It's been an amazing roller coaster ride; we had so much fun. She's just so hyper like me and so funny, I remember every time we would be doing meetings with the video director or designers she would make us convulse with laughter. So proud she's part of my small career so far and I just adore her.


What would you like to say to your fans?

Wait for me, because there's more to come


What's your mission statement as an entertainer?

Well I hope to be able to achieve my dream as an artist and to present good art that would touch people my age and would be proud to look back at when I'm older.


What are upcoming projects for Amro El Meligy?

There's currently my third single 'Breaking Me Down' that just hit clubs and TV channels that will keep you dancing till my albums comes out by the end of this year along with a new video, and I have a commercial that I might be doing soon along with a lot of performances here and there, so expect me to bump into you anywhere very soon.


What's the perfect summer getaway for Amro El Meligy?

I would say London or Europe but I just can't stop thinking of sahel, I'm a sahel person, summer means party, beach and friends :)


What ambition would you still like to achieve as a performer?

I consider myself as a one man show artist, I sing, I write songs, I dance and I come out with ideas, I would love to do a musical movie maybe, we never had any good ones the past few years.


What is a personality trait the public never gets to see?

I'm a crazy kid, I laugh most of the day and make fun of even myself, but sometimes I cool it down so people would still take me seriously.


What's your favorite summer song?

last year Rihanna's 'We found love' and Nicki Minaje's 'Turn Me On' were our summer theme tracks, this year I'm all over Justin Timberlake's new cd I guess it will be on my repeat list for a while.


Whom else would you like to perform a duet with?

I would like to work with international people, David Guetta or Rihanna, a guy is allowed to dream right :)?


By Sherif El Newehy