By Maha ElNabawi
Egyptian DJ duo Aly & Fila are a bona fide phenomenon. Arguably the most internationally successful electronic DJ and production collective Egypt has ever produced, the powerhouse pair are more than your average DJs.
With a booming new record label and a syndicated radio show, both titled “Future Sound of Egypt,” alongside an internationally acclaimed album (“Rising Sun”), Aly & Fila are at the forefront of trance music’s next generation.
The dance music act who are ranked in the top 20 of DJ Magazine’s annual poll, sat down with Daily News Egypt to discuss why they chose their home country to celebrate the upcoming 200th episode of “Future Sound of Egypt” radio show, their spiraling success and the current state of trance.
“Regardless of where we play worldwide, it’s important to bring your big events back home — where it all began,” Fila told DNE.
“We originally wanted to do the event at the Pyramids. But it was a bit out of our budget,” he laughs.
The event, which will take place on Friday, Sept. 2 at Echo Temple in Sharm El-Sheikh, features Aly & Fila as headliners of a lineup comprised of seven European and local DJs.
“We wanted to mix in DJs signed to our record label, like Brave, Phillipe El-Sisi, and Mohamed Rageb with some of our favorite Europeans artists such as Roger Shah (Germany) and John O’Callaghan (Ireland), showcasing a range of sounds within trance music.”
Aly Amr Fathalah (Aly) and Fadi Wassef Naguib (Fila) first met in kindergarten and have been relatively inseparable. Their bond? A shared love for speedy tempos, melodic synthesizers, and an “uplifting rush” feeling — early on, they fell into a joint state of trance.
“Trance is a universal type of electronic music,” Fila said. “It has more musical composition than other categories [of electronic music].
“Trance flows through the soul, you feel each rise and fall and it can completely overtake your mood. That’s what we try for in our music.”
The 2003 release of their debut hit-single, “Eye of Horus,” gained instant attention and accolade from club goers and DJs alike. “Eye of Horus” was licensed to Fundamental Records in Holland and quickly plowed to the number four position in the Dutch dance charts.
The track received notable airtime and support from trance music legends, Armin Van Buuren, DJ Tiesto, and Paul Van Dyk., catapulting Aly & Fila’s career into their ranks.
“Armin has been our biggest supporter,” Fila said. “We owe him a big part of our success. He took us under his wing, and taught us so much.”
Van Buuren currently leads the rankings of DJ Magazine’s annual polls, earning the number one ranking in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. He has won countless awards and is indisputably trance music’s current front-man.
Pulsating through the trance world, Aly & Fila are known for their distinctive sound — uplifting and euphoric trance in each track they produce or remix.
The duo continued their rise to stardom with acclaimed tracks “Spirit of Ka” and “Thebes” in 2007.
“When we started, we gave all our tracks Egyptian names to set ourselves apart and give ourselves a solid identity because otherwise, no one would predict that we were actually Egyptian. We want to prove there is a dance music culture here in Egypt. ”
In 2008, Aly & Fila saw a huge surge on the production side when they mixed the trance music album, “Trance World 2 Compilation,” an annual compilation made under Armin Van Buuren’s record label, Armada.
Within a year, the DJs began receiving status-altering recognition, have been nominated for the Best Breakthrough DJs at the 2009 International Music Awards at the Winter Music Conference in Miami and ranking number 12 in Trance Addicts Top 250 Poll.
The year 2009 also witnessed the launch of their own record label, The Future Sound of Egypt. The label is in partnership with Van Buuren’s Armada records providing Aly & Fila with quite a supportive backbone.
Fila said this about the Cairo-based label: “We are signing a combination of foreign and Egyptian artists, but we are really focusing on identifying and nurturing the DJing talent here in Egypt.
“There is great untapped talent here; we’re trying to give them a chance to make it internationally. We support our artists and give them resources in the end if they’re good and work hard, they will make it.”
After years of staggering remixes and chart climbing originals, Aly & Fila released their first solo record, “Rising Sun” in 2010. The album was ranked 43 in Mixmag magazine, solidifying their global success.
On Friday, the duo are set to celebrate the 200th episode of their international weekly radio show at Echo Temple in Sharm El-Sheikh, an open-air club that sits at the foot of the Sinai Mountains.
“We are so proud to be hosting our 200th episode celebration of ‘Future Sound of Egypt’ radio show on our home turf,” Fila said. “I truly never thought we’d reach this point; it’s a dream.”
To purchase tickets for the “Future Sound of Egypt 200,” visit www.Tazkarty.net