Just a bunch of crazy, hyperactive but talented guys who formed a band named “Karma“. They are an Egyptian Rock and Metal band consisting of 6 talented young guys. After many former members, the band has settled on this line-up:
- Ragy Akram; Vocalist
- Omar Haridy; Guitarist
- Ehab Sami; Guitarist
- Karim Mounir: Bassist
- Mahmoud Barakat; Drummer
- Sherif Mustafa; Keyboardist
Unfortunately, Sherif Mustafa couldn’t make it to the interview, but the other five members were there for the interview. The band was founded in 2007 by Mahmoud and Ragy, then Karim joined. About three different guitarists joined in the same year but shortly left, Ehab and Omar later joined. Finally, after considering a couple of keyboardists, they all agreed on Sherif.
Hey everyone, how are you guys doing?
KARMA: Hey NJ, we are glad we are having this interview for Rock Era Magazine.
It’s our pleasure guys. So, what does “Karma” mean?
KARIM MOUNIR: “What goes around comes around.”
RAGY AKRAM: It has a deeper meaning, and when I searched for the meaning, I liked it. It means the force produced by a person’s actions influences what happens to them in their future lives. So, we chose it.
How did the idea of Karma develop?
MAHMOUD BARAKT: The ex-guitarist was a friend, and he found a note in a studio that Ragy wanted to play in a band so he told us. Then I called Ehab because we study in the same university. Then Haridy replaced the ex-guitarist.
Very well, so by Omar Haridy joining the band, Karma was born?
KARIM MOUNIR: Actually, Karma existed for a long time, but like most bands, we went through line-up changes, which led to the Karma you see today.
What are your influences?
RAGY AKRAM: Shaun Morgan, Seether’s vocalist.
OMAR HARIDY: Nevermore, Kamelot and Pain of Salvation.
EHAB SAMI: Jason Becker, Yngwie Malmsteen, Guthrie Govan and Paul Gilbert.
MAHMOUD BARAKT: Jason Costa, All that Remains’ drummer, and Derek Roddy, Hate Eternal’s drummer.
KARIM MOUNIR: Slipknot, Story of the Year and others.
RAGY AKRAM: And as for Sherif our keyboardist he is mostly influenced by Dream Theater.
NJ: Very interesting. How many originals do you have and who writes them?
MAHMOUD BARAKT: We have six originals till now…
RAGY AKRAM: And we are working on new ones. We all pitch in.
KARIM MOUNIR: We still haven’t finished recording all of them, but Can’t Let Go is our first original.
RAGY: Ehab and Omar are the main composers, Omar and I concentrate on the lyrics.
EHAB SAMI: Other tracks will be on MySpace soon.
NJ: Awesome work. And what are the lyrics based on?
RAGY AKRAM: Depends…Love, hate and changing the world.
KARIM MOUNIR: I think it is more about what we need to say, no constraints.
NJ: Can we say that they are more about personal issues?
OMAR HARIDY: Yup.
NJ: When was your first time on stage?
RAGY AKRAM: July 2007 with our ex-guitarist Mohammed ElHaggan.
NJ: And how was this concert?
EHAB SAMI: For our first time it was great!
MAHMOUD BARAKT: But compared to Karma now, it was nothing!
And how was the audience’s reaction?
EHAB SAMI: There was an Ahly VS Zamalek Game that day, but we were able to bring in lots of people.
Guys, how many shows did you perform in your musical career?
KARIM MOUNIR: About seven concerts during almost two years. Three times in ElSakia, twice in the AUC talent show, once in both GUC and UFE.
MAHMOUD BARAKT: And we won the AUC battle of the bands in two consecutive years, and the UFE battle too.
That is something remarkable guys, so as for studying; can you always catch up?
MAHMOUD BARAKT: We all study except for Ragy; the rest of us can manage quite well.
KARIM MOUNIR: Thank God we have the ability to finish our songs in a short time.
EHAB SAMI: Once we had a concert without jamming, and it turned out very well, not like we expected it to be.
NJ: What do you consider your best performance?
KARIM MOUNIR: Our last concert in ElSakia and the AUC 2009.
Did you perform with bands before?
OMAR HARIDY: Yes, Simplexity, we shared the stage with them in our last Sakia concert.
And how rocking was it?
OMAR HARIDY: Definitely rocking! We enjoyed it even more and became friends since then.
Who else do you think would be cool if you preformed with?
EHAB SAMI: Wyvern, for example!
RAGY AKRAM: Redeemers, Serenade…
Where do you see yourself in the next couple of years?
EHAB SAMI: We see us, rising and rocking the world with our music and lyrics!
KARIM MOUNIR: We are trying to add our own touch to the genre.
And what is your next step?
EHAB SAMI: Release our songs officially in Egypt as a first step.
RAGY AKRAM: Locally, S.O.S Music Festival and the first album for sure
KARIM MOUNIR: And finally rocking the city!!
Finally at the end of our interview, what do you want to shout out to your fans?
RAGY AKRAM: Show some action!
KARIM MOUNIR: Keep it true and Keep rocking! “Don’t be afraid of being a part of the madness” as Corey Taylor, Slipknot vocalist states.
OMAR HARIDY: Talk through your music m/
MAHMOUD BARAKT: I am proud of being Karma’s drummer and of the fact that we are all self-taught. Without the fans, there wouldn’t have been Karma.
That is sort of traditional.
MAHMOUD BARAKT: Yes! That is why I said it
EHAB SAMI: NJ, are you ready to be interviewed by Karma?
(I never saw that coming): What would you like to know?
KARIM MOUNIR: What do you expect from the music scene in Egypt?
Ha-ha, well I guess, bands are doing a great effort to be something, including you. Guys it was such an awesome interview, and you broke all the boundaries between an artist and an interviewer!
KARMA: We all did enjoy it a lot. It was one hell of an interview! Thanks Rock Era!
Interviewed by: NJ Bakr