An Evening With Dr. Alfons: Music-Making & Nonna-Shaking with Egypt's Man of the Moment
Dr Alfons is the musically talented, womanizing, free-flowing geriatric puppet that's taking Egypt's social media by storm. We sat down for an EXCLUSIVE interview at his Zamalek pad.
It’s not the most routine of jobs here at CairoScene; one day you’ll be banging out articles about dolphin fashion, other days you could be doing a photoshoot for a beer bottle. Some days, however, they’ll tell you to go interview a geriatric puppet with some seriously hot flow.
And so, one chilly February evening, after getting a bit lost in the tight streets of Zamalek, I alight upon the infamous Dr. Alfons’s apartment - a minimalist little studio that looked far more befitting of a 27 year-old techno Berliner musician.
Alfonso welcomes us at the door with a hearty - albeit plastic - handshake. He offered to make us tea. I glanced around the apartment for clues as to what makes this puppet tick. He is apparently a fan of Kavinsky (he’d have to be) and has a thing for string instruments, judging by his small yet special guitar. I ask some warm up questions about his life and musical repertoire. He speaks with the kind of aloof wisdom and nonchalant demeanor you’d expect from somebody who’s seen it all and probably poked it too.
Alfons props himself up (quite literally) on his favourite (and only) chair and spills the metaphorical beans about everything:
Alfons: *Slowly slides down his chair* Unhand me, I can prop myself up just fine.
Ikram: Yeah he can do it just fine (what am I doing with my life).
Alfons: Alright, I’m up. What do you want?
Ikram: What kind of Doctor are you? You don’t strike me as a man of medicine.
Alfons: Oh see, I used to have this jewelry store a while ago, I’d called it “The Doctor,” and so people started calling me Doctor ever since. It stuck with me and I liked it.
Ikram: Right. So when did you get into the music scene?
Alfons: I’ve been making music for a while, I learned all the ins and outs ages ago and only recently started making it public. I like to think my talent shows in El Sheta Gai.
Ikram: Speaking of which, could you tell us what exactly “El Nonna A7” means?
Alfons: Does it really need explaining? A Nonna is…a Nonna, you know? She’s a Baby, and A7 means hot. Baby Hot. Hot Baby.
Ikram: Riiighttt... Could you tell me about your role models in life? People you aspire to?
Alfons: Of course. My number one role model in -I’m slipping again..give me a hand Yasser.
*A young, mysterious figure comes out of nowhere and helps Alfons regain composure*
Ikram: So that’s Yasser? Does he usually just appear out of nowhere like that?
Ikram: …You were saying?
Alfons: Ah yes, my role model would have to be my dear mother, God rest her soul. Oh and Bill Gates, definitely Bill Gates.
Ikram: Why Bi- never mind. Moving on, you seem to have a lot of life experience, especially when it comes to the arts. So, what would you tell younger generations with talent? Those who are too hesitant to let it out?
Alfons: Don’t bother.
Ikram: Excuse me?
Alfons: They shouldn’t bother, there’s already only just about enough to go around for us, and if you’re too afraid to let the world know what you have, then just keep it to yourselves and stop giving us a headache.
Ikram: Not even going to consider arguing with you.
Ikram: Ever been married?
Alfons: …Yes… I don’t like to talk about it though….about her…….I hope she goes to hell.
Ikram: Sounds rough.
Alfons: Understatement of the century. But it did teach me a valuable lesson; I have too much to give to all the Nonnas of the world to be bound to just one evil woman, so that’s what I’m doing.
Ikram: You are a visionary. What is a Nonna to you though? Is it somebody who makes you feel special?
Alfons: "Makes you feel special??" No, son. YOU make a Nonna feel special. Not the other way round.
Ikram: I see… And (I don’t know why I asked this) what do you usually do with a Nonna?
Alfons: Well….A Nonna is like a cookie….
Ikram: (What the fuck)
Alfons: Maybe dip them in some tea……or just eat them the way they are……
Ikram: Kinky. So there have been quite a few people criticizing your choice of language - what’s your retort?
Alfons: Ah…my adoring audience…well, everybody’s entitled to their own opinions, and so am I. That’s why I’d like to tell these people to *Extremely Censored Content*
Alfons: With all due respect, of course. Oh, would you like to hear the new song?
Ikram: Yes, please.
*Alfons plays us a sneak peak of his latest track, and even sang to us. I felt things I never have before.*
Ikram: That was pretty sick.
Alfons: Thank you, I worked hard on it.
Ikram: Let’s end this on a deeper note; why do all the good things in life have to last so little?
Alfons: Well not every good thing has to end too quick, that’s just not true. But between you and me, evil should always win. It’s the natural order of things.
Ikram: …..Thank you for giving us the opportunity, Doctor.
Alfons: It was my pleasure, thank you so much for stopping by everybody.
Well that was a rollercoaster of emotions and plastic. I walked in thinking I’d literally be talking at a puppet but it turns out, I was the puppet, and Alfons’s buckets of wisdom helped expand my horizons, to one day be able to manipulate my own strings. Also, his music is hot as fuck.
We shook hands with the good doctor and went on our way, a day that will stay with me forever, for better or worse. So if you feel like getting to know Alfons’ yourself, head over to his Facebook page and maybe take him out for shisha or something, he definitely won’t say no.
Photography by CairoScene