Mahraganat, the Egyptian electro shaabi

This article is also available in: Italiano

We like extreme combinations and, together with the Umm Kulthum podcast, we bring you the most modern music of Egypt: the Mahraganat or “Egyptian electro shaabi”.

Mahraganat, the music of the parties

Mahraganat in Egyptian dialect means roughly “parties” and this immediately gives clues to its origins. The genre was born in fact in the popular districts of Cairo thanks to DJs for weddings. The latter were looking for a different sound that would stimulate movement, refusing to intone melodies already seen but still being fascinated by the rhythm. To popular music, “shaabi”, they then added: electronics, reggaeton, rap and even something grime, thus giving birth to an absolutely new genre: the Mahraganat.

Mahraganat
Sadat, one of the absolute stars of the genre

In 2006 he had his first successes at neighborhood parties and weddings, the real success will come, however, after the Revolution, a period of complete renewal for the entire Arab music scene. Some DJs participated in the demonstrations who composed pieces for the occasion, thus cheering the demonstrators and making themselves known more and more.

Consecration and problems

For a very long time, however, the Mahraganat was not broadcast on traditional media due to the rhythm and language. On the other hand, it is music made to be danced and inside it uses a very explicit language, which was always frowned upon by the older generations. Nonetheless, in 2014 Dj Soussy will be able to sign a first real record deal, thus allowing the genre to spread globally.

In 2016 radio Nagham FM announced that it would no longer broadcast the genre which, however, continues so popular in Egypt that it has made many artists real stars. Its fame has grown to such an extent that, in 2013, the Franco-Tunisian director Hind Meddeb even shot an ad hoc documentary: “Electro Chaabi”.

I put the podcast on top of it so that I can put the playlist under it.

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