Days ahead of a massive launch party, celebrating the launch of his own consultancy agency, we speak to Marc Wahba, the man behind some of the most impressive events and nightlife branding in Egypt...
A notorious name on Egypt’s nightlife scene – he is, after all, a DJ too – Marc Wahba has been working hard in the back rooms of all your favourite venues, making concepts come to life, executing creative strategies and consulting on everything from branding to food to events and more. Having been doing this on a freelance basis, he’s amassed the experience of someone far older than him and has had a laundry list of achievements thanks to his consultation. Now, after cementing his name as a forced to be reckoned with among the who’s who of club owners, restaurateurs, party promoters and more, he’s branching out on his own new business venture, Heart Soul & Mind. Celebrating his arrival in the big leagues, Wahba is throwing one hell of a launch party at the infamous Pharaohs Temple this May 21st.
Headlining the epic celebration is none other than Bulgarian beat-master Metodi Hristov who’s been mandated with one sole mission – to make you dance. Joining him will be local DJs M Fayek and Sebzz – Cairo’s musical tastemakers, and if Wahba’s past efforts are anything to go by, it’s going to be wild. Better yet, the event maestro is bringing in fans to make sure the venue is cooler than the music. We speak to the man himself about his graduation from confidant to the big players into a businessman in his own right…
How and why did you shift from freelance consulting to setting up your own business?
I think it’s a natural step after gaining quite a bit of experience in the field, especially after working with the biggest names in the industry. I just love what I do honestly, so it’s time to spread my wings.
What do you think is so special about the Marc Wahba Touch? Can you tell us about your best success stories?
The Marc Wahba Touch? Hahaha! Well, it’s funny you ask because it’s quite simple actually. All you need to do is put your Heart Soul & Mind into something and you will excel at it! There is a bit of luck, of course, and a tremendous amount of hard work but you don’t' really feel the pain when you’re passionate about something. I get really depressed when I’m not working and it drives me nuts. I also believe that any success I’ve had has been based on being good and supportive to people around me. Being successful is not just about being talented or owning an agency. It’s about how much people believe in you for whatever reason that is.
How does your musical background impact your professional work?
I got into this business about six years ago because I was extremely fanatical about the idea of music in general. It's really what keeps me going and truly a gift from above. It’s just a bonus that whoever created us decided to bless us with, so I’m grateful. And I was like, if I can get paid by just being around music in any way that would really kick ass! And from that day on I never touched a math book again...Anyhow; the next step was me joining the amazing Electrum record label. That really taught me a lot. It’s run by an awesome crew and at that point it wasn't about work; I felt at home, in my element. So there’s really music everywhere I go; my best friends are DJs, my roommates are DJs. It just happen to follow it everywhere I go. And last but not least, I’ve been getting into DJing myself these past few months.
Most people don't believe I should be up there because I might not have what it takes yet or because of the impression that I get gigs easily because I’m well connected in that field. Just to make it clear once in for all: haters will be haters, and honestly, I’m enjoy myself up there to the point where I couldn't give two shits about what you think! It’s a form of self-expression, if you have a problem, next time you see my name on a flyer just don't come. So yes music does have a major impact in my life.
What challenged have you faced in setting up the company?
The biggest challenges I’ve faced while starting this company were based on trying to acquire the most experience possible. I am very down to earth as a person and, believe it or not, I do not want the spotlight or any perks that come with the job. I don't want to become the next best thing or a hotshot promoter that everyone loves, just to fit in. I joined the nightlife because I want to make Egypt a better place for people who appreciate partying. So for that matter, I decided to start an agency that would help people throw better events.
In your own words, how important is image and branding in nightlife, F&B and creative industries?
Branding is important and essential in any product you sell. Creative or not creative, I needs to be imprinted in the consumers’ minds. But in terms of nightlife and food and beverage, I guess it’s the experience you deliver and the impact you make on your guests that will remain in the back of their minds.
What can we expect at the launch? How are you going to wow potential new clients?
Well I see things differently. Every case is different and every client has different expectations and needs. I don't believe in wow factors that much, it does not impress me to see girls dancing and fireworks everywhere. Nowadays everything is outsourceable so if that’s what the client needs that’s what he will get.
But there is some magic that lays between a great musical direction fused with an artistic design inspired by intuition which will come to the stage this Thursday.
Are there any projects you've already taken on? If so, give us a sneak preview...
There are many projects I’m working on, but I’m afraid I cannot mention any names. One of the services that Heart Soul & Mind offers is ghost production, so I work and they shine.