Farah Karim meets up with Egyptian underground Rock band Shutterglass to get some insight on how they climbed the musical ladder in the country and how they're trying to revive the genre in Egypt.
Music that seems like it's controlling the beats of your heart, lead by a powerful voice with a resemblance to Evanescence's Amy Lee that perfectly merges with the sound of the second vocalist to make it seem like the song is playing through your entire body - those were the first impressions I got listening to the Rock band that has taken the music scene by storm; Shutterglass.
If you're a fan of El-Sawy Cultural Wheel concerts, been around AUC and other campuses for performances or simply love Rock music, you've probably come across the local band that's writing and playing and rocking like there's no tomorrow. It consists of five members in their early 20s, trying to revive the Rock scene in the city. We got a chance to sit down for a talk with them to get some insight on the music scene in Egypt, discover more about the road that lead them to where they are now and discuss where they're heading in the future. "The band started when our bassist Yehiia Radwan, and a fellow guitarist friend decided to form a band and start playing professionally," tells Ahmed Mosaad, the band's guitarist, "After two months of trying to gather musically talented people and some auditions, we finally found the needed members within our circle of friends and started performing a year ago."
The band has made a name for itself and grown popular over the past year, developing a following by putting on performances and live gigs at the AUC, the GUC, and even some talent shows including that of the DSB and Oasis schools, where they nabbed first place, a factor that certainly helped put them in the public eye and spread their name. They play and write original songs that are a fusion between Alternative and Progressive Rock and that aim to take the listeners on a journey to not just feel, but experience the lyrics, as well as the music. "The Rock scene in Egypt is dying; the metal scene is taking over but Rock is a great genre and we want our music to make people give it another chance. We're getting big and we could change things," explains Radwan. Speaking of the way the members all work together and how they maintain their relationship with music, Radwan continues, "If you want to be successful, you've got to do what you love. And we're a team; each of us has different musical preferences, but we all agree on one thing; our passion for Rock and that's what keeps us going."
With a big crowd and even bigger expectations, we can only imagine the amount of pressure put on the band to not only meet the awaited imagination of the people, but to also excel and inspire. "Gigs can really pressure you sometimes, like this one time I had to go on stage for a show where they needed me to memorise the songs and the notes within an hour. It was a lot of work on such short notice, but we did it. It went really well," Mosaad tells us. Shutterglass' music aims to carry a message and meaning that young Egyptians can definitely relate to. "Our music discusses serious social issues in our society, it raises awareness to those who are losing touch with reality and urges the people to be accepting towards one another," reveals Mosaad.
At last, we delve into dreams of the future and the band certainly does have some exciting and very promising plans. "Aside from reviving the rock scene in the country, and giving hope to the people through our music, we also have a few surprises we haven't revealed yet," says Radwan. "A high-profile band suggested a collaboration with us - to give you a hint, they're a Heavy Metal\Hard Rock band, who have been on TV and well, it's a big deal we can't wait to share with our listeners. All we can say for now, is stay tuned," concludes Mosaad.
Listen to their tunes and get lost in the world of Shutterglass on SoundCloud.
You can check out their Facebook page here or follow them on Instagram @shutterglass.