So now that this album is closer and closer to being released, I thought I'd share some thoughts with you on the ideas and themes behind it.
Starting off with the name - El Mahrousa. Now many people are asking about either its meaning or its significance.
El Mahrousa - literally means the guarded one, or the guarded. It is also a traditional Egyptian girl's name. But the main reason I chose this for the album name was because it is also the given nickname for Egypt/Cairo. Now I say Egypt/Cairo because, and the Egyptians amongst you will understand, we tend to use the Arabic term for Egypt - Masr - for both Egypt and Cairo. This used to confuse me to bits as a kid, I'd get asked where I was from while on holiday in Luxor and my answer would be 'Masr', and then I'd get asked - yea but where in 'Masr' and I would find myself unable to answer hehe...
Now I've chosen El Mahrousa because this album consists of tracks that are either fully in Arabic or combine both English and Arabic lyrics. I only started writing Arabic lyrics when I moved to the UK which was a huge challenge for me, and I believe it was inspired by and stemmed from my missing home.
So this album is dedicated to Home, Egypt, Cairo, Masr El Mahrousa.
The tracks that are to be featured on this album are the following;
1 - Back Down Again
2 - Just So Tired
3 - Sa'alny Habiby
4 - El Eyoun El Samra
5 - Ana Bint Masreya Soghayara ( anti FGM Song)
6 - Habiby El Asmarani
7 - Ticking Bomb
8 - Take Me Away
9 - Cairo's Minarets
10 - Silence
All tracks are originals written by myself, with the exception of Sa'alny Habiby which is written by Omar El Nayal.
This album is in my point of view an attempt at bringing cultures close together and realising that through music, boarders dont really matter. Music is a universal language, no matter what language it sings.
It is also a journey. It is a result of several years worth of work. All of these tracks were written between 2006 and 2010. Some have changed form over the years with more sections added or sections taken out. Some are more outspoken than others. But they are all a reflection and a portrayal of myself. They represent who I am and a lot of what I believe, stand for and am passionate about. These tracks were all recorded between March 2009 and May 2010. Twelve different musicians, including myself, have performed on the album. Five different Studio locations around Liverpool, UK have been used to record it all. Its being released on the record label 'Hamzet Wasl' - an Indie label founded by myself. And many many many obstacles have been faced in doing it all! From band members dropping out, to Recording Engineers moving out of the country to not having the correct funding. But we made it through!
I think people don't realise how much effort making an album takes. We usually are the ones waiting for one to hit the stores and are frustrated at albums being delayed from their original release date. This album is more than a year overdue and its more frustrating for those wanting to release it than those waiting for it to be released! But we are almost there and nothing is driving me more than seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with this project.
I hope that once this is officially released, you enjoy this piece of work as much as I have enjoyed making it.