Amro El Meligy's latest hit Breaking Me Down, featuring Razan, is making waves on the Egyptian music scene. We talk to El Meligy about shooting the killer video, working with Razan and torshi...
We like to think of Amro El Meligy as a man who needs no introduction. But if you really want one, you can check out our full Music Matters interview with the rising pop star. We invited the eager and unstoppable El Meligy back to the CairoScene office the minute we saw his music video for his latest single, Breaking Me Down, featuring singer/actress/presenter Ms. Razan Moghrabi. The dance-inducing hit has already filled the airwaves and television screens across the country and, being one of the slickest locally-produced music videos we’ve seen in a while, we talk to El Meligy about working with Razan, 48 hours of shooting and what’s next on his climb to the top of the charts. (Unfortunately, Razan couldn’t make it, so we had Managing Editor Dalia Awad stand in for her in the photo. We think she did a pretty good job.)
How did Breaking Me Down come about?
I wrote the song and the melody as soon as I finished my last single. My first single was in English and my second one was in Arabic, so this time I wanted to something even more different and have someone feature on my track. I wanted someone the Egyptian audience is familiar with since I’m almost done with my album and it’d definitely give it an edge. Razan is a character that people like and she fits right into the theme of the song.
So you wrote it with Razan in mind?
Yeah, I had Razan in mind and even before going and approaching her about it, I said to the producer, Sherif El Wessamy, that Razan is going to be on it!
So when you approached her what did she say?
When I approached her, I showed her and told her my videos and played her my songs. Then I played Breaking Me Down and explained what she’d be doing and she agreed immediately! She was like, “Yeah, cool. This is what I’m going to wear…”
She looks like she is in love with the wall for most of the video…
Hahaha, the scene by the wall was only supposed to be a snippet, inserted within a storyline but as we were getting all our ideas down, we moved away from the storyboards that I usually have for my videos and just went with a collection of powerful and memorable beauty-style shots. That was a lot to do with Malak El Ezzawy’s influence. She styled and art directed the video and as a fashion designer, we ended up going for more style, less story.
Is Razan’s audience your audience?
Actually, I consider this song as still introducing myself; having Razan on board makes a difference as she gets press all over the Arab world and now my name is there next to hers.
Are you worried that she is going to over shadow you?
I don’t mind because in the end it’s a win – win situation. I don’t see either one of us taking more than we deserve out of this project.
Why are other Egyptian music videos shit?
Because I think they just copy and paste from Western musicians and they’re not actually feeling what they are doing. I’m not saying that our video is amazing, but the fact is when Razan and I are doing our thing, it comes across naturally and it goes with the music and the theme.
How long did it take to shoot the video?
This one took us two days , 48 hours non-stop. We were dying! We didn’t stop at all, when Razan was shooting her scenes, I was in another room shooting mine.
Where did you shoot the video?
In a studio in Maadi called Double Vision. It’s actually a music studio but an old one so they have really interesting architecture and it worked really well.
Did anything funny or embarrassing happen while you were shooting?
Yes, there was lots of screaming over torshi…
What torshi? You mean literally torshi?
I don’t wanna go into details …
No, we want the details!?
Somebody came in and they were commenting about torshi and how they wanted to eat it with their food. Then, all of a sudden, people started freaking out and screaming at each other because it was clearly not the time for torshi! We were focusing on shooting and really stressed out. It wasn’t funny then because we hadn’t slept, but looking back, it’s pretty hilarious!
A lot of musicians release an EP, then an album, then a single before making a video. You’ve already made three videos without having released your album yet. How important are the visuals for someone who’s just coming out?
It’s been important since day one. I release my singles on audio for the radio and at the same time it’s filling TV screens so it’s perfect to get someone new really out there
Where is your video aired?
It’s aired on Mazzika, Rotana, MTV Lebanon and more. TV stations keep asking for it, so it’ll be everywhere soon.
Have you got any plans for any live performances ?
There will be. I’m not giving out any details yet because nothing is set in stone, but you’ll see us performing live in Lebanon and Dubai, as well as some TV shows here and there.
How is the feedback so far?
It’s been amazing. It’s all positive feedback and I keep getting lots of new offers!
Have you been recognised on the street yet?
I’ve been recognised since the previous video. I get people like, “Hey, you’re that singer!” Mostly drunk people.
When is your album out?
The album should be ready by the end of this year. I’m two songs away from wrapping it up , and there is big surprise! I’m going to be working with someone extremely big but am not going to give any details…
Amro El Meligy featuring torshi?
What’s the album called ?
I haven’t named it yet..
Hahaha, yeah maybe torshi.