Here's our roundup of 10 DJs we think were really pushing their sounds this year.
Another year has gone by, full of parties, nights out, and memories of spaces we occupied. In smoke-filled clubs and after parties by night, Nile-side meadows and secret rooftops around the city by day, we met and danced, drank, and laughed, all to the beat of our favourite local DJs – some more than the rest. We here at Scene Noise have compiled this list of 10 Egyptian DJs that have, in one way or the other, captivated our hearts and ears throughout 2016. We made our choices according to who we believe has either been playing a lot throughout the year, or for relevance of sound and popularity with the crowd. All these artists made it on this list because they surprised and captivated us with their music, and made an outstanding effort to make our year all that much better.
Ahmed Samy is no new face to the Egyptian scene; he started DJing sometime during the year 2000, and broke through shortly after that. Samy has played most of the hottest parties around lately, and has shown resiliency in being able to handle himself at different gigs. The music he dished out was some of the edgiest to have been played in the country this year, garnering him massive support from Cairene clubbers and electronic music enthusiasts. His DJing school Strictly Vinyl has been churning out one artist after the other, the likes of Nadim Mokhtar, Saleh Amin, and Ismail Nosrat, all of whom are currently spinning vinyl, strictly.
Blurr Entertainment Co-Founder and ElRow Barcelona regular Ahmed Abou Samra has played so much within the country and beyond. Not only that, but Abou Samra released a couple of tracks this year where he surprised us all with his take on house. Appearing on the bill of a huge number of parties, Abou Samra saw deck time behind the helm of many of Egypt's leading nightlife names, also playing in Europe at some of the best clubs and festivals on the continent.
Hisham Zahran needs no introduction. A regular fixture in Egypt's nightlife scene and beyond, the technically gifted Zahran saw lots of time behind the decks this year, spinning regularly outside of Egypt too including gigs at Sisyphos in Berlin and Mixmag's The Lab in New York. We fell in love with Zahran during the heyday of Nacelle's House Sessions with his Deep and Tech House, where he was resident DJ and in-house troublemaker, bringing a special vibe to the parties he was featured in.
These two guys exploded onto the scene lately, bringing in a fresh take on oriental/electronic fusion, with their ever-so-popular remixes and renditions of classic Egyptian tunes. This year saw the duo play at a multitude of massive events, where they have become a household favourite by many of Egypt's most dedicated club goers, landing them a spot on our list.
One of Egypt's leading producers is also a DJ, one that is usually found behind the decks of some of Cairo's freshest parties and dance music clubs. Misty has been dominating in his niche of house, where he still appears alongside Hafez - his duo - but more on his own. Lighting up dance floors beyond the confines of our country, Misty has also recently become a fixture in the Jordanian scene, where he's regularly flown out to perform.
What can we say about Zeina, the Montreal DJ that moved to Cairo following an intimate gig at Vent? In the past year, Zeina has proven herself as one of the country's top DJing acts, playing at some of the country's hottest events. Her own series of events, Unfamiliar, showcasing female electronic artists – both musicians and designers – is one of Cairo's freshest concept parties.
The Horrible DJs broke through in a very short time, playing an insane number of gigs in the past two months, even playing alongside international sensations Leftwing and Kody. Booked to play alongside huge names in what's left of 2016, we believe they deserve to be on this list for the outstanding effort they did this year in getting their names out there and their pure entertainment factor when performing. What started out as a parody may have blossomed into a full on career behind the decks.
Nile FM resident and prolific DJ, Safi is one of the country's hottest spinners. Throughout the year he has dominated the niche sound he plays, appearing on the bill of some of Egypt's hottest nightlife brands, including Nacelle's B-Side. When it comes to funk, soul, or any other alternative dance music genre, Safi is our go to DJ. Whether it's behind the mix board at Nile FM, or behind the decks at many of the numerous venues he played this year, Safi gave his all.
Famed Pacha resident and all around prolific artist, Ouzo – a.k.a. Adham El Mestekawy – is one of Egypt's most played DJs. His sets are other worldly journeys that come as a direct result of Ouzo galavanting around different European countries and being exposed to the DJs that play there, always bringing this experience back to his home, Pacha, and beyond at different parties and nights out around the country. This year, Ouzo played at numerous gigs, and he is currently putting forth a massive sound that is hard to pin down to one genre, landing him a spot on our list.
You usually don't see Hip Hop DJs on lists like this, yet A.K seems deserve to be here as much as anyone else. The massive amount of play time he got at Egypt's different hip hop nights and parties is colossal in comparison to any other DJ, hip hop or not. His take on the genre is fresh, spinning spanking new club bangers alongside some of our favourite hip hop anthems, always with a distinctive twist. A.K has been dominating the hip hop scene this year, finding widespread support from lovers of the genre all over the country.