Cairo’s underground music scene maybe saturated with talented musicians, but one particular band certainly distinguishes itself from the crowd. Such distinction may not be in the form of a massive cult following, but in the unique mix of the music they deliver.
Offering a shade of music that is seldom seen in our local music arena, Musiphoria stitches an intricate tapestry of music that takes you on a journey from the epic to the sublime, over rolling hills of green and into hectic scenes of uprising and revolt.
Musiphoria is a self-labeled new-age band that has been active for a little more than a year. However, the idea for the band has been in the works since 2010 but only materialized in 2014 with their debut concert recently coming to light in September 2015. An all-instrumental show, the band strives to stay away from the one-man-show model that, in their opinion, plagues the mainstream Egyptian music scene.
Their music is a varied palette of colors reflected in the band members’ different backgrounds. Their line-up is ever-changing, each time adding a new instrument to accentuate a certain atmosphere.
But some members are pretty consistent. Their keyboardist and main composer Yehya Sharara lays out the foundation to their inimitable tracks, while their drummer Abudllah Sherif holds it together with his solid beats and playfulness.
Manning the bass and electric guitar, Beshoy Beshara and Ahmed Diab respectively, are two members who also dabble in heavy metal music, and whose influence can be heard in the groovy riffage that interlaces the jazz-inspired sounds of their saxophonist, Ali Hafez. Adding layer after layer of auditory bliss, a violin, an accordion, a trumpet and a clarinet make on-and-off appearances, enriching the music with variety and a worldly feel.
Musiphoria’s tracks live up to the band’s name, making you smile or laugh in spite of yourself as you listen to the well-written sections and breaks. The ecstasy of their music is perhaps only matched by the evident happiness you see on their faces as they progress from one track to another.
Each track has a theme, and a story behind it, and is different from the other, making them only common in their diversity.
While the band has certainly not reached its peak of fame, they make sure their music is in top-notch shape. Always pushing for improvements, they end up, according to them, surprising themselves with the results every time.
“We’re working men, not dedicated musicians,” says Beshara. “We do try to keep our expectations for the Egyptian underground music scene in check”.
So far, they have played a handful of shows in Cairo and other governorates, donated a song to the children’s cancer hospital 57357 and recorded a cover of Yanni’s ‘Nostalgia’, welcoming the seasoned artist to Egypt. However, for what it’s worth, I truly believe that Musiphoria’s star is on a very steep rise and soon enough, you will be seeing their posters on the street.