1. Rag’een by Amr Diab
As elsewhere, pop music represents a radical shift to modernity. In his music video for the major hit ‘Rag’een’, Amr Diab lands with a ‘flying car’ to a classical black and white scene and introduces colour and pop. The change of music in Egypt changed radically since then.
2. Kamanana by Mohamed Fouad and Mohamed Henedy
From the film ‘Ismailia Rayeh Gay’ in 1997, Mohamed Fouad and Mohamed Henedy symbolised a new generation of artists that wanted to simply have a little fun with music and lyrics, echoing ‘Wannabe’ by Spice Girls that no one until now seems to understand the meaning behind the chorus.
3. Ghazaly by Hamied El Shaeri and Moustafa Amar
Hamid Al Shaeri was the mastermind behind the growth of Arab pop music since the 1980s, helping other artists like Moustafa Amar to follow in his footsteps. One of his major hits is ‘Ghazaly’, which set the tone for upbeat western music intertwined with oriental instruments.
4. ‘Mabsouta’ by Simone
Long before Sherine Abdel Wahab and Nancy Ajram, Simone was one of the first to really invent the idea of a ‘pop princess’. Though the song comes off another Western hit, ‘Tom’s Diner’ by Suzanne Vega, it set the stage for other female pop stars to use their style and image in producing music.
5. Kol El Banat Bethebak by Hossam Hosni
During his time in Cairo, Hossam Hosni paired up with poet Anter Helal, and both began to play around with a new techno sound that produced a new simplistic and light style of music that greatly influenced future generations of artists.