During the past months, many of the so-called “Mahraganat” singers, who caused widespread controversy, retreated. This is in contrast to the remarkable rise of 90s singers in concerts and festivals. Recently, we found more than one of the stars of this golden generation shining again in the New Alamein Festival, most notably Hamid Al Shaeri.
This is in addition to the Jeddah concerts that everyone watched last week and brought together the most famous singers of this generation, namely Mostafa Amar, Ehab Tawfik, Hisham Abbas, Mohamed Mohi, Hossam Hosni, Khaled Ajaj, and Simon. A large number of people of different ages attended those concerts. This confirms that this generation is the one who will occupy the singing scene during the coming period, as it occupied it for two decades and more. We spoke with musicians and critics to find out the reasons for the return of this generation to shine.
Nostalgia for classics
Musician Mounir Al-Wasimi says that everyone noticed what happened in recent years in Egypt in terms of weakness in melodies, distribution methods, and the replacement of maqsoum music, which highlights the oriental character of the Egyptian song and makes young people dance with mahraganat music, which became famous recently. Hence, this resulted in people’s nostalgia for the oriental character represented by oriental rhythms such as the rhythm of Maqsoum, which seems clear in the music and songs of Hamid Al Shaeri and the singers of this generation, which we call the generation of the nineties. This public nostalgia resulted from the Westernization of music and the tendency of most signers to use the Western form in most of the music of their songs, such as Hamaki, Amr Diab and others. The rhythm of the Egyptian maqsoum, which was common in our music, is no longer present as before. Egyptian popular music, or what is known as mahraganat, has become an alternative to the rhythm of the maqsoum. Thus, the return of the nineties generation is something that cannot be decided unless new works are produced for this generation and the audience interacts with them as they interacted clearly with their concerts.
Scarcity of talents
Rania Yahya, Dean of the Higher Institute of Art Criticism at the Academy of Arts, says that as long as the artist is able to perform, he has the right to work, and the only judge is always the audience. However, what is evident from the successful concerts in the past days of this generation, which distinguished a lot and occupied the entire Arab world in its time, is that it is still influential and has a wide audience. This also indicates the lack or scarcity of talents that have emerged and achieved mass successes during the past twenty years, during which only Tamer Hosni and Sherine Abdel Wahhab appeared through talent scout Nasr Mahrous, who is still practicing his creativity in revealing talents and presenting them to people until the present time, such as the young singer Mustafa Shawky. I believe that what is happening on the musical scene confirms that we have a great shortcoming in discovering and managing talent because the art of creating a star is a big story with a long explanation. After 25 January 2011, no star appeared to shine and continue with the masses, despite the spread of talent discovery programmes. We must acknowledge the problem we face in this context so as not to lose our soft power with the passage of days, especially since most of the Arab Gulf countries are interested in making the star. One of the most prominent examples of this is Hussein Al Jasmi through his journey from obesity to what he is now. In sum, I wish the singers of the nineties more brilliance, and we expect new songs from them to interact with the reality in which we live, and we hope that many new talents will emerge from the artistic arena and shine in the coming times.
Music critic Ahmed Al-Samahi says that the success of concerts is not a measure of the strong return and continuity of brilliance. This is because when the public hears, for example, about a concert that includes Hamid Al-Shaeri, Mostafa Amar, Hisham Abbas, and others, he will go to celebrate with them because he has nostalgia for this period. Therefore, this is not a real success, because the actual presence of these singers depends on presenting new songs that are in line with the rhythm of the era, and this has not happened over the past years from most of the singers of the nineties generation. The evidence for this is that some of them, such as Muhammad Mohie and Muhammad Fouad, who are the most famous in this generation, when they released modern songs on YouTube, they do not achieve the viewing rates that we can talk about, and this confirms that there is a rift between the audience and these works. If the generation of the nineties can renew, keep pace with the times, and heal the rift between it and the public, then the return will be real, not false. We can say that Amr Diab is a distinguished star for staying at the top for 35 continuous years, and Hani Shaker has been at the top for fifty years with different generations, as well as Muhammad Mounir, Medhat Saleh, and Ali Al-Hajjar. This is a great success for each individual singer in his continuity of brilliance with the masses. As for the singers of the nineties, in my opinion, their success is due to their gathering in one concert. And if each of them appears separately, then his success will be limited, as it appeared and was evident in several situations before.
Audience’s taste redefined
Enas Gohar, the famous broadcaster, says that the return of the singers of the nineties to shine in the singing scene through concerts, whether in New Alamein, the North Coast, or in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, is irrefutable evidence of the good taste of the audience, who refused “Mahraganat” songs. On my radio programme, I find a great interaction from the audience with the songs of the 1990s generation and they request to hear their songs. It indicates the great connection of those born in the seventies and eighties with this generation of singers who occupied the entire Arab region for long periods. From here, the singers of the nineties must keep pace with the current era and develop their tools in order to reach the various segments of the audience and not be dependent only on their ancient history. We also hope that the media will focus on improving the public’s taste and that it will not get involved again after its predicament by focusing on Mahraganat songs, which negatively affected the public’s taste in general. We are heading to the Citadel Festival for singing. We hope to add more successful names from the nineties singers, besides Hisham Abbas and Simon, who will entertain the audience with their songs during the festival.
Source : Zawya