Winning a music-reality show is a big deal – fame and fortune follow in its wake but often only lasts a minute. For last year’s Star Academy winner Nesma Mahgoub it has proven to be only the beginning by signing a record deal in her father’s music production company, MusicaPro, recently. Her upcoming album Hat’oolli Eih, What will you tell me, is slated to hit the shelves next August and will feature 12 songs, ten in Egyptian Arabic, one in the Gulf dialect and one in English.
Between winning the show and starting on her album Maghoub has not been idle, she recorded a song for the Lebanese/Egyptian soap opera Ruby, starring Selim AbdelNour, and a song for the upcoming Olympics and the sports show run by Khaled Al Ghandour on the Al Riyadah Al Yom channel called “Don’t Let Anything Stop You”. This summer, Nesma recorded a song and video for the Arabic movie “Pantalon Juliette”, starring and directed by Tarek El Ebiary. The song is a cover of a classical song by Ragaa Abdo called El bostageya eshtako, The postmen complained.
Do not make the mistake to think Mahgoub is a singer created for our television entertainment only; she has honed her singing and performance skills since she was ten years old. Still in third grade, Maghoub started training with the opera choir of the Cairo Opera House. In high school she joined the German musical competition Jugend Musiziert “The youth makes music” four times, and walked away with the first prize twice. Jugend Musiziert is a competition that gathers students from German schools in Egypt, Turkey, Greece and Germany to compete against each other in musical performance. The first time she won first place, she was in a musical, which meant she had to sing, act and dance at the same time. “I had to practice for an entire year, it was very exhausting,” she remembers.
Although Maghoub does not write her own songs for her solo album, she is heavily involved in the writing and composing of the music of her oriental metal band, Origin. The band performs both Arabic and English songs and has seven members, including two vocalists, and Maghoub is the only female in the band. “I thought it would be weird to be the only female but it’s really exciting because they are my best friends.” Origin is one of the first of its kind, combining both oriental and heavy metal music, creating a unique sound fusion. “It’s very hard to combine heavy metal along with oriental music, but we work hard and somehow succeed, it feels great,” she says.
Mahgoub, who is turning 23 this year, is the only musical performance major at the American University in Cairo. She chose theatre as her minor, to continue her ongoing affection with this medium.