In the latest of our collaborations with iconic casualwear brand U.S. Polo Assn., we chat to the rapper, actor and creative director about the business of fatherhood and the importance of style.
Hossam L Hossainy is a Jack of all trades. The multi-talented artist juggles art and business like a pro. You'd think being the father of two boys, Yassin and Youssef, he wouldn't have the time to be the talented rapper, producer, advertising pro, and occasional actor that he is. But he runs his world smoothly like a well-oiled machine. In the latest edition of our collaboration with U.S. Polo Assn, we find out how he does it all.
How did having children change your personal and professional life?
You move on from being greedy and you start thinking about others, and you start seeing that there is another heart inside your body. So now I have three hearts, my own and my kids’. I’m a workaholic, and when I had time off I would go crazy shopping… Now it’s different; when you have kids you focus on them and making them happy. Somehow at work, I’ve become more focused, more mature.
If you could go back in time, how would you prepare for fatherhood?
I’d just make more money! I would focus on working more to make more money to be comfortable.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from having your own family?
I’ll tell you a strange thing, everyone has a message in life…I feel that my message is through them. I’m responsible for these two little guys, and that is my message; raising them well. I have so many goals I want to achieve but at the end of the day when I see them I realise it’s all about them not about me. You push yourself limitlessly just to make them proud. I want them to look back and say ‘Dad did something big.’
If you could go back in time how would you change your own relationship with your father?
I had a little bit of a crazy issue with my dad. I was raised by my mum as he was always traveling and working. I wouldn’t change anything. He was the one who needed to change and be around. I guess if I had to change something myself, I would try to make him stay.
What is the biggest lesson you learned from your father?
My father is an artist, a musician…He was so taken by being an artist that he didn’t manage to be a good businessman. He lost everything. So I tell myself I must be more business oriented than artist oriented to stay ahead of the game.
How do you keep a balance between work and family life?
I don’t pick up my phone on weekends. I’m always with my family from Thursday night to Saturday. This keeps the balance. At the same time I always make sure to have lunch at home on weekdays.
What habits have your kids picked up from you?
Balawy! My little one is a Leo like me, and the older he grows I see more of myself in him. They both like singing and dancing, they love animals and dogs like me. They like to rap…it’s so funny when they stumble on the words! I draw and my older son Yassin draws as well. He’s very good. I like to do a bit of everything, and so do they. Youssef is very alert like me, it’s shocking.
Is it more important to play with or teach your boys?
Both. They both complement each other. My boys love me and fear me at the same time and equally. We travel a lot together, and go to the beach and we get crazy together. At the same time, once things get serious, so do I.
How important is image in your industry?
It’s everything. Image is everything. You have to always look good, look sharp. Your office has to be nice, neat and clean. People can think you’re a successful millionaire just because of your image. I personally don’t like this, but this is how show business works. If you don’t stand out, you’ll be like anyone else.
What are your style essentials?
Shoes, and shades. I’m crazy about them.
Do your kids choose their own outfits?
Yes, Youssef has been choosing his own clothes since he was three! He won’t let anyone dress him and he has great taste. Yassin looks like a classic Harvard student.
Where do you see your kids 20 years from now?
I don’t know…I’m one of those people who was a bit immature until I was 30 something, when I found my calling. I feel like Yassin will either be an actor or a businessman or entrepreneur. Youssef… I see him as an artist. Sometimes I feel the two could do something together, complementing each other and completing my legacy and dreams. The best thing in the world is to inspire people through art. However, they’re still kids, I don’t know where they will be and I will never push them into anything. I want them to find their own way.
Photos produced exclusively for CairoScene by @MO4Network's #MO4Fashion
Styling & Art Direction: Gehad Abdallah
Photography: Lobna Derbala
Grooming: Mohamed Al Sagheer
Shot on Location at Tabla Sahel
Shop the shoot at U.S. Polo Assn. at Mall of Arabia, Mohandessin, CityStars, Cairo Festival City and City Center Alex.