Egypt bans 19 singers, leaders of a musician licensing group are trying to deny mahraganat, a bold genre wildly popular with young people. However, it is not clear if they can.
This song starts from the most Egyptian pop songs do: it’s a hidden love story between two neighbours who, unable to get married, exchange suggestive glimpses and pledge their hearts in a bittersweet dance of desire and waiting.
However, this song, “The Neighbors’ Daughter,” has become a huge hit, with more than half-billion views on Youtube alone, forcing Mr Shakosh to become a celebrity.
However, the song’s egregious reference to drugs and alcohol, both of which are traditionally banned in Egypt, has turned it into a lightning conductor in a culture battle about what comprises a good look and subject matter of widespread music and who gets to decide.
The battle, which holes Egypt’s culture establishment against a betrayer musical genre embraced by millions of young Egyptians, has heated up recently after the organization that licenses musicians blocked at least 19 young artists from singing and performing in the nation.
The organization, Egyptian Musicians’ Syndicate, blamed Mr Shakosh and other singers for spreading and encouraging decadent behaviour or misrepresenting Egypt and at the same spoiling the image and public taste.
The banned singers have been out from the clubs, concerts and weddings. However, some started continued performing abroad or at private parties, but they are not allowed to advertise any product or other income opportunities.
According to Tarek Mortada, it permits the artist to perform on stage.
According to Mr Shakosh manager and his childhood friend that “How can you say someone like Shakosh is misrepresenting Egypt when his songs are being heard and shared widely and got billions of views on youtube.”
Iran’s draconian restrictions are unacceptable for music and have to produce a hip-hop scene. The question arises all over in Egypt that Now who is going to regulate the matter of taste.