We speak to the duo behind Abu's newest song Ahwak, about love at first sight and throwback feels, and get some exclusive behind the scenes shots of the shoot!
Feel good vibes, sun-soaked beach frolics, and some major throwback feels to an era long gone epitomise Abu's (Mohamed Aboul Enein) newly released music video, Ahwak, directed by award-winning actor Asser Yassin. The singer's entire musical identity and vibe revolves around a distinct sound that makes you feel undeniably warm and fuzzy on the inside like someone just handed you a unicorn-shaped marshmallow, and it is that precise feeling that is brought out in this video.
The song, which is inspired by the original version by Abdel Halim Hafez and Mohamed Abdel Wahab in the 50s, captures the whimsy and innocence long lost over the musical thread of time since that golden era. There's people frolicking by the sea with giant patterned beach umbrellas and everything.
"The concept behind the video is a dream," director Yassin says, who strayed from his initial introduction into the industry as an actor in hard-hitting films like The Yacoubian Building to opt for a new position behind the camera, "It’s basically the story of a man who regrets and mourns the moment he saw the love of his life without expressing it. In his head (or the dream) he takes the initiative to finally say what he really feels and that’s when karma leads him to her."
The inspiration for the song was triggered two years ago, when Abu wrote the lyrics. "I was sitting in the Frankfurt airport and I saw this gorgeous girl pass in front of me. And my heart just kind of skipped a beat," Abu tells us, "But I didn't go up to her, and I didn’t say or do anything. And later I kept asking myself: what if I had said something?"
That notion of chances lost and the idea of that strange instantaneous euphoric feeling that can sometimes strike you the first time you lay eyes on someone was the feel which both Abu and Yassin wanted to encapsulate in the song and video, which was shot in Marassi and powered by Emaar. "In a time long-gone people used to love each other in a much 'cuter' way and that was the essence of Ahwak. The song carries a lot of positive vibes and the visual interpretation had to reflect that; and nothing says that more to me than the beach, the sea, morning sunshine."
"The creativity and conceptual work in this medium of music videos gives freedom to express without any boundary," Yassin explains. But ironically enough, it was crystallizing the idea into a visual vernacular which he found most difficult. "The hardest part was creating the concept behind it and it came to me after many brainstorming sessions and visions."
The final result is a video that effortlessly flings you back to an era when poodle skirts were still a thing. And it's downright adorable.
"The vibe on the shoot was enormously uplifting and without the collective spirit this piece wouldn't have been that sincere and fresh," Yassin concludes.