Retune Music Academy’s staging of a small concert at the GrEEK Campus, in downtown Cairo, was enough to show that following dreams is hard; equally so, the performances showed that the reward is worth the patience.
The young artists’ enthusiasm bespeaks just how long they’ve waited for this opportunity, with the proud look in their parent’s eyes a reflection of the hard work they’ve put into their repertoire of played songs. The concert is what they have waited for their entire lives.
Retune Music Academy aims to support aspiring artists and to promote the diversity of artistic expressions in the Egyptian music industry. It was established by 100 Copies and Ricerca e Cooperazione (RC) and funded by the European Union (EU) as a part of its cultural cooperation mission in Egypt.
Ten artists were chosen from over 100 applicants to receive musical training in vocalisation, stage performance and studio recording, over a period of six months, with the additional opportunity to record in a professional studio and have one track included on Retune’s compilation CD, according to Matteo Valli, RC’s regional coordinator and one of the academy’s organisers.
“We wanted to support young, underground artists, promoting their talents, through this project,” he said.
With all artists in their early twenties, the musical genres were a smattering of all things contemporary: “mahraganat”, rap, and electronic music.
“This is the most common type of music nowadays,” Valli explained. “This is the type of music that you find everywhere and listened to by everyone.”
The EU has allocated an estimate of €300,000 for this project, 80% of the project’s total cost.
Ahmed Farghaly, a 19-year-old faculty of commerce student, is one of the participating artist at the concert. With his friends, they created a group called “Kabous Nation”. The hip-hop band consists of four members who believe that music is their own way to express their emotions and beliefs out loud.
“We’ve been singing for four years now, we transfer what we see and feel into songs,” Farghaly said.
Even though the band had participated at many concerts, including El-Fan Midan, Farghaly sees the Retune Music Academy as an important step in the group’s growth.
“Getting the opportunity to record our music at a professional studio is something any rapper would dream of [and] the training we’ve received is not easy to find anywhere else,” Farghaly told Daily News Egypt.
Moustafa Hosney, 20, another participant at the programme, is an electronic music producer and guitarist. Self-taught, Hosney has been waiting for the opportunity to have his music heard by the others.
“My music is different from the regular electronic music people are used to listening to; however, I never had the chance to expose it to people” he said.
“This is my first event and I’m extremely excited about playing in front of this large amount of people,” he added.
This year’s Retune Music Academy builds on the success of its previous iteration.
“Those who participated last time now have their own concerts, and some even opened their own studios,” Valli added.
“This project is not only about producing musical talent, but about following up with young artists and providing them with the needed support to keep going”, he concluded.