Playing music since he was a wee lad, Hassan Ramzy woos the CairoScene girls with his smooth covers.
This week we caught up with guitar-wielding cutie, Hassan Ramzy. Playing since the tender age of 12, the self-taught singer and musician has been quickly making his name on the underground music scene. Performing at Grizzly Diner’s big Valentine’s Day blowout tomorrow night, we talk to the 22 year-old about DJs, bitches and Grey’s Anatomy…
How long have you been playing music?
I’ve been playing since sixth grade. I taught myself how to play the guitar and sing, and with practice, I got better!
How did you teach yourself how to play the guitar?
I just listened to other people and my favourite artists and copied what they did. Of course people were always like shut up, but you just have to keep going.
When was the first time you sang in public?
It was at a school talent show in grade seven or eight. I was really nervous. I felt like there were thousands of people in front of me even though it was probably only a couple hundred!
What did you play?
Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters, I think. And maybe some Linkin Park
Did you start performing because you loved it or to get bitches?
Well, I already had the bitches. Nah, just kidding! Because I love music, of course.
So when did you start writing your own music?
Well, I thought I was writing my own stuff but it was actually crap.
With DJs taking all the limelight these days, have you ever thought about ditching the guitar and getting on the decks?
Actually, I did think about being a producer but I wasn’t going to DJ myself.
How would you describe the Egyptian music scene right now?
Totally disconnected. Nobody is in communication with anyone else and I’m actually trying to do something about it. I’m planning to take underground artists around Cairo to give them exposure and offer something different for people to see on the street. We want to give all proceeds to charity. Worst case scenario, we make a few thousand pounds, best case scenario we get tons of coverage and exposure. We’ll have to focus on places like Zamalek and Nasr City at first, but hopefully we’ll get to spread to Shoubra etc.
We were in Zamalek the other day and a drug deal was going down on the street. Are you sure you want to take music there?
Who are your favourite local artists?
Shady Ahmed, Abu and Jailbirds. There are some really talented people here.
Have you thought about singing in Arabic?
It’s all English now, but I’m trying to get into Arabic. I wrote a song against the constitution and Ikhwan and it was understood internationally, but it didn’t reach the Egyptian people so I’d like to start doing more stuff in Arabic.
What’s the best gig you’ve played so far?
I like Grizzly Diner, it’s cozy and intimate but the AUC talent show a few years ago was amazing, too. There were a few thousand people there and I’ll never forget it. I performed a song that I’d written for a friend of ours that had passed away, and I cried and the audience cried. It was amazing knowing that I’d actually reached out to people
What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you while performing?
I was at a school talent show and I had my eyes closed while I was playing the song. When I opened them, the people in front of me were dancing, but they were dancing sha3by, and I was laughing on stage but I had to keep playing!
If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Mind control. I’d use it to control the record labels and shit and to make radio stations play my stuff.
Is your goal in life to have your song featured on Grey’s Anatomy?
What show would you want your songs on?
Walking Dead. Not because of the zombies, it’s just the most watched show right now, so everyone would hear my music.
If you could play with anyone in the world who would you play with?
What’s your favorite Pokémon?
Charizard and Blastoise.
If you could collaborate with any artist, past or present who would it be?
Michael Bublé, or Jack Johnson.
What’s in store for your gig at Grizzly Diner tomorrow?
A lot of fun! They give me a lot of freedom, so it’s great.
Sing us a song…
Keep up-to-date with Hassan Ramzy on his Facebook page here. He performs at Grizzly Diner for Valentine’s Day tomorrow, 14th February at 8.30pm and again at 10.30pm.