Firstly I would like if you introduce yourself to your fans?
Rania: Rania Mohamed Sha’laan, originally from Cairo…
Tell us about your start, please. How did it all start with you?
Rania: I started in the year 1995, I was on a visit with family to Dr. Tarek Sharara, one of our friends, and he had a show on the radio, and he asked me to come for an interview and sing a few songs, and at the time I had no Arabic songs written or composed of my own, so I sang some English songs I had…and in the year 1997, I heard about Fathy Salama, so I went to see him and attend his concerts of course, and I asked him to check out my voice and he did, so he made me sing a song with him in the Opera House in the year 1997, in the small hall, and I continued to sing with him until the year 2003, then I started to have my own concerts with my own band here in El Sawy Culture Wheel.
Where did you start to learn music?
Rania: I was my own teacher at home; no one gave me any lessons at all.
What genre of music do you exactly play?
Rania: You can say that I play what I call “Arabic or Egyptian Blues and Egyptian Jazz, I call it so because it doesn’t have a certain name, because as you’ve seen in the concert, I played Latin, Oriental and Western music…I actually play what I like and what I love because I hate to be labeled under a certain genre, because if you play Blues music, you will be known for playing Blues music and you will have to play Blues all the time, I love to play what I want and what I like, if I love something Japanese I would play it, like what you saw in the song I played of Ahmed Fouad Negm “El Tuba”. The scale I played in the end of the song was Japanese; I am not limited to something in particular.
What about the idea of the solo concert, how did it come?
Rania: Well, I was supposed to perform with my band as usual but they couldn’t play with me due to some personal reasons, so I had to go for a solo concert.
Would you go for a solo concert again?
Rania: Definitely! I really enjoyed it, and I established great communication with the audience, as you saw I was talking with everyone like I was in my own home not on stage.
Do you have any albums ready to be released soon?
Rania: Not really, I currently don’t have a producer and I am looking for one.
What about the video clips?
Rania: As you saw in the concert, “El Bondo’ya” (English: The Shotgun) is the only video clip I have until now.
What about your favorite poets?
Rania: Amir E’id, Salah Jahin, Ahmad Fouad Negm and Ramy Ali are really my favorite poets and I love to sing their poems and lyrics, I also sing some of my own lyrics of course.
Any projects or any plans for the future?
Rania: I intend, God Willing, to perform and play my songs in other countries. And I don’t really want fame but I want everyone outside Egypt to listen to the songs and the real Egyptian lyrics and music and love it as well…Like you know you can see a microbus driver listening to the song “Hotel California” and he wouldn’t even know what the lyrics mean, but he loves it or whenever people see someone, ANYONE, with a guitar they ask him to play “Hotel California”. And I want to spread my own music like this. I don’t want to be famous as much as I want my lyrics and my own music to be heard everywhere, even if they don’t understand the lyrics like I told you before, I want everyone to listen to the Egyptian music and the Egyptian lyrics.
What is your global message through your music?
Rania: I hate violence and I call for peace through my music and my songs and my motto actually is “love”…everything could be sorted out and solved through love.
Thank you for your time and for such great interview.
Rania: Thank you!
Interviewed by: Yasser Mohamed.