An amazing musician and a sound designer. Most recently recognized for his sound designs work in the latest Brad Pitt’s Allied. Let’s discover more.
So, let’s start with the old days! Tell us more about your start with music, which did you start with first; piano or guitar?
Yeah, I started playing piano at the age of 9, classical, but I didn’t like it at the time. I used to listen to Linkin Park and Metallica while studying classical piano, which was a nightmare, I wanted to play electric guitar and be like the “cool” people. I bought my first guitar and created my first band, which was a school band, at the age of 15.
When did you discover your passion for singing? And have you formed any bands with you as a lead singer?
I studied Economics at AUC while I always wanted to study Music and Sound Engineering, and at the time, the major wasn’t there yet. The major was created when I was about to graduate, so I decided that all my electives will be in music and film, I took a vocal course with Dr. Raouf Zaidan just for fun, I never really thought of being a singer.
Okay, tell us how did you join Fabrica? When did you hear about the choir?
After a month of vocal lessons, Dr. Zaidan told me that Dr. Nevine Allouba needs male singers for the Arabic rendition of Les Misérables and he was keen that I go to the audition. I was still singing so off tune but he encouraged me to do so, telling me not to worry and he is gonna take care of my training for the role if I got in. I went to the audition and it was full of great singers, which made feel like going home. The auditions passed and I got a role in the play, which was so unbelievable for me, and that’s how I joined.
The term of sound design isn’t that familiar in Egypt. Would you give us more details about this profession? Is it different than a sound engineer?
A sound designer is someone who gives life to the footage using sound, you can sell scene with sound. Most of the people don’t know that all the sounds heard in movies and TV, aren’t the real sounds, they are re-made by the sound designer. Sound designers either use already recorded sounds from libraries or they record the sounds needed. There is art that is called FOLEY, in which the artist job is just to remake the sounds of what he sees in the movie. A good sound designer has to make the sounds subtle so the audience would believe it is the real sounds recorded on set, that’s a big reason why the profession isn’t well known.
So did you start working at Epic 101 Studios as a sound designer?
I started my career by attending the Epic 101 Studios course in Music Production and Sound Design. Later, I worked there as an instructor for the same course and there I got introduced to sound for media work. So I was an instructor and the in-house sound designer.
Do you think the sound design career could be a solid source of income for a sound designer in Egypt?
Yeah, it can be a solid source of income.It is a bit hard in the beginning, like any other creative-based career. It all has to do with connections and having a portfolio that has all your work.
So we know that you are an audio producer with Peace Cake. Could you please tell us more about your job there?
I am the “sound guy” for Peace Cake Productions. I do anything that is sound related there, from recording VO’s to sound designing the video and doing the final mix down.
We have seen your post recently; that you’ve joined Randy Thom for some recording sounds in Allied Movie. Could you tell us more about your role?
Media Sound Hamburg, a series of Master Classes that takes place every year. It has been two years now that I am attending it and it is where I met Mr. Randy Thom, the head of sound designers at Skywalker sound, as he was the instructor for the sound design class.
I had the chance to know some of his techniques and approaches when it comes to sound designing a film. When I came back to Egypt, he contacted me to get him ready recorded sounds of Moroccans speaking and shouting in an old market, which I did, later he found that these sounds weren’t enough for the project, so he asked to record some sentences with some specifications of the way to record them.
I worked on the sound design of a short film called “Tolérance” that got premiered in Paris. It is directed by a school and University friend, Sandro Canaan, who studied directing in EICAR, Paris and this short film was his graduation project. Sandro and I studied Economics together and neither of us liked it, it is so funny how after all that, he became a director and I worked with him on two short films. He really has a vision for how the sound of his movie should be like and always ready with references for it.
From your point of view; what is the Egyptian music scene suffering from to reach the international level?
It lacks originality
Have you ever thought of a solo project? If yes, would you be interested in producing albums, or just live?
I already have tracks for my solo project, but I am trapped in the perfectionist dilemma, I always feel that the tracks aren’t ready and overdo them till I reach a creative block and hate the track. I am interested in producing studio albums more than performing live.
Well, tell us more about your upcoming projects.
I am working with Peace Cake Productions mainly now, which is very promising. On the other hand, I am planning on releasing my music really soon.
Written by: Mena Ezzat.
Edited by: NJ Bakr.