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Interview with Ahmed Shingy of Silent Echo

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For the Love of Rock, that's what motivated him to form his band, and in no time, he achieved great fame. I am talking about someone we should all be proud of in Egypt, I am talking about Ahmed Shingy of the great "Silent Echo"


Ahmed, tell me how your musical career started.

Well, it actually came up very randomly, almost 6 years back, I was 17 at the time and I’d just met a very old friend I hadn’t seen since prep school, he told me that he was playing guitar and coincidently had a jam that night, I went to see them, and the second I heard the sound of a plugged electric guitar, well I fell in love!


How did you form "Silent Echo"?

I was sitting in a cafe with friends and I mentioned that I'd love to form a Joe Satriani tribute band, a drummer and a bassist among the guys were interested, the same night I was told about this guy Hamalawy who had the same love for instrumental music and for Satch aka Joe Satriani, and we just took off from there.


How did you come up with the name?

It took us sometime to come up with a name, in an irrelevant discussion SILENT ECHO was mentioned, which caught my ears, because of the sense of confusion it brought, how could there be an echo if it's silent and vice versa.


What genre do you exactly play in the band and why?

We basically play Instrumental Rock, because we believe that music delivers a message better than words, and because we appreciate the beauty of melody and the delivery of feelings this genre can bring out of us. We also like to cover some old and classic rock songs with a little bit of our touch, and we've done that in a gig before the Guitar Festival.


What problems did you face when you formed the band?

Well, there weren’t many problems since the band was formed in one day, and even when a member had to quit the band for any given reason, we didn't have much trouble finding a replacement since most musicians were interested in playing instrumental music and I had a lot friends fill in as guests including Mostafa el Kerdany who originally joined Silent Echo as a guest and for obvious reasons we couldn't let go of him.


I guess I have noticed few changes in the band's line-up, can you please tell me about it?

We've had a different line-up for our first minor gig which was at the CIC (Canadian university), only I still remain in the current line-up but since our first actual gig in 2006 we've only lost an amazing lead guitarist, Hamalawy, and have had a guest replacement for the last gig. Quite recently, Khaled Salem has also had to quit the band to focus on his own music.


Silent Echo is a band of professionals, why haven’t you released any albums so far?

I'd like to thank you for calling us professionals and a great band. The thing is we'd like for our music to fit in the kind of covers we play, I wouldn't want to play a Joe Satriani cover, a Steve Vai cover, and then have a 3 Chords based song and call it an original, we're working on our music but only giving time to the creative process, hopefully we'll have something to impress the fans soon!


As one of the best guitarists around, can you tell me please who's your idol?

Again thanks a lot for the compliment. It's an honor to be called that and be put aside guitarists I really respect and appreciate. About my idol, well I have to say I've been mostly influenced by Joe ' Satch' and if I could name a couple others I'd say Andy Timmons and John Petrucci.

Silent Echo’s 1st guitar festival, how did you come up with this idea and why?

I speak for myself when I say I've dreamed about having guitarists from different bands share the stage at the same time and play songs we all have been brought up listening to, so the idea was basically to bring a couple of friends to share the stage and play one or two classic rock songs that the audience would like to sing along with. A couple of days later Khaled suggested that we take it to a larger scale, make the couple of guests a 5 or 6 person guest-list, and accordingly have more singers to create diversity in music and styles and I guess that’s what we did, and it was an amazing experience on stage!


What are you going to add to the guitar festival vol.2?

Keeping a few surprises on the shelf, I'm looking forward to having more guests, some of those we really want to share the stage with and still haven't had the chance, creating more diversity in covers, having more visual stimulation to the show and maybe you guys at Rock Era could help us get better event exposure.


Any future plans on your mind?

Regarding the band, we're currently a two piece setup -Guitar and Drums- and I'm looking for replacements to our much respected Bassist and Guitarist. About myself, I just need to finish university, and hopefully get my guitar skills and knowledge to a non-stop state of improvement through studying and practice.


A word to your fans out there.

I'd like to thank everyone who has supported us, shown appreciation or criticism which are both very welcome at all times, and that nothing feels better than seeing you smiling and dancing during our shows. SPECIAL thanks to our #1 fan, the 50 years old Sameeh, who follows our gigs even in Alexandria and always speaks very highly of the band and the music to everyone, you guys just make everything we see in our music scene worthwhile.


Thank you, Ahmed!

Warm regards to Rock Era and thanks to Yasser for this nice interview.


Interviewed by: Yasser Mohamed


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