Nawa Recordings is the latest record label set to take the Middle East burgeoning alternative music scene by storm - but it's so much more than just a record label; it's an entire support system for budding artists…
Nawa is a new record label that has plans to develop the Arab contemporary music industry in the Middle East. With 15 years of experience behind him, founder, musician and composer Khyam Allam is setting out to create a bridge between our burgeoning scene and the rest of the world. “I'm very excited about making music more available to audiences in the Arab world, alongside Europe, while respecting artists' rights and allowing them the creative control and freedom they need to realise their artistic vision,” Allami says.
While talent has never been hard to come by in the region, a structured effort behind nurturing it has only begun to spring up in recent years with several Egyptian record labels making an effort in congruity. But the concept of a record label, especially in a country lacking independent venues to perform in and mass appeal for new sounds, seems somewhat futile.
Today anyone with a laptop and internet connection can create and market themselves. But Allami is developing Nawa more as a partnership then a typically capitalising label. “We work directly with the artists at every step of the way (production, rights and publishing, and artistic and managerial support) to help them realise their vision. In return, we expect the artist to show their best efforts at making this vision a reality.”
With Nawa, Allami hopes to give the artist independence to create exactly what he/she wants with the tools provided, in order to create a final product that is as in line with their creative concept as possible. “We are not here to sell products to people. We want to work in a way that maintains the same artistic integrity that our artists have. This means making the works and the information as accessible as possible, at the highest quality possible.”
To make the artists’ music accessible, Nawa works with a string of international specialized PR agencies across the UK, Europe, Middle East and North Africa and offer help to artists online. Nawa will also soon launch the Middle East’s first legitimate distribution network, an online store that will make their artists’ music available to purchase online through CD, Vinyl LP, and high quality digital downloads.
Still at a fledgling phase, Nawa isn’t currently accepting new demos. However, they are gearing up for a release that will most certainly cause ripples in the region: the new album by the phenomenal experimental electronic artist Maurice Louca, who’s frantic synth sound with Oriental inflections and explosive beats have garnered a cult following in Egypt.
“We are remaining very tight-lipped about Maurice's upcoming album - his second,” Allami tells us. “We want the music and the artwork to speak for themselves. But what we would like to say to everyone is that we think that Maurice Louca is one of the most exciting artists out there right now, and that this album is an epic work that is totally indefinable and so incredibly powerful and beautiful. You might not be able to stop yourselves from playing it again and again and again and again and again.”
Maurice Louca’s album will be out on limited edition coloured vinyl very soon as well as CD and digital download, and we’re sure the world will be hearing a lot more of him and Nawa in the coming years as Egypt’s left-field artists take center stage.
Follow up with Nawa on their Facebook page here or visit www.nawarecordings.com