After a long and tiring business trip to Dubai, I decided to relax and listen to some good music with friends. We’d heard that Central Perk (think the famed “Friends hangout) was a good bet, where talented young international artists perform live. We were not disappointed.
After a performance by a young Egyptian electric guitarist, we realized that everyone who recommended the place was right.
A sense of Egyptian chivalry and humor came through as I chatted with Karim El Deriny about his love for music.
Discovering his passion at age eight, El Deriny found a new best friend, his guitar. His grandparents were the main source of support as he embarked on his musical journey and learned the basics of tablature.
At 25 years old, El Deriny – who dubbed himself the “caveman guitarist – is now making a name for himself playing chill out music.
“Most of the time my music is expressive. I just go with my own flow. and the color that I see, he said. Sometimes he sings along to the music.
El Deriny’s tunes are a fusion of modern, oriental and classical with remnants of rock. He admits that sometimes he “goes crazy, remixing some of his favorite classical pieces to add a taste of his own style.
When I listened to “The Finish Line – one of the remixes – I gave him two thumbs up.
Whitesnake, Guns N’ Roses, Pink Floyd, Santana, Omar Khairat and Fairuz are among his favorite bands.
“I listen to a lot of rock and blues artists. I guess I am influenced by a lot of them, noted El Deriny.
He also gets inspiration from people, the spirit of certain places and his personal experiences.
Although he has always dreamt of being a professional musician, El Deriny tried working in another field after graduating from the Academy of Maritime Transport in Cairo. He worked as a tour guide in Europe and on some cruise ships.
Still, he continued to perform in his free time to the public and for friends.
When asked what it takes to become a professional musician, he instantly replies, “It’s impossible if you don’t love it madly.
He says he wants to live and die in Egypt, and even though he currently lives in Dubai, he visits Egypt to “breathe.
El Deriny performs in several cafes around Dubai and once a week at a theater. “I perform in The Loft Theater, Central Perk, Bert’s, which I like the most, he says.
El Deriny is sponsored by Lime Green Entertainment and Dubai Lime, the famous internet website. “The people behind Dubai Lime love and appreciate music and art. They are trying to discover local talent and bring it to the public. For them business comes second, he said.
Artists sponsored by Dubai Lime come from all over the world: South Africans, Americans, Iranians, Canadians, Indians, Asians, and French. He noted that although Dubai Lime’s main goal is to attract more Arab talent, at the moment El Deriny is the only Arab artist there.
With some 14 original compositions under his belt, the up-and-coming guitarist plans to release his first album by the end of 2007.
Check out some of his work at www.dubailime.com.