A word with a revolutionary artist

Published August 4, 2012 by Yassmin Elnazer

This interview was on 2009 before the revolution it was in Arabic,yet I translated it for a magazine which later did not publish it,am so proud to be one of the first who interviewed such a lovely revolutionary artist,Mr Maa’moun later before the revolution directly had his album:Horof el Ghona:The letters of singing released yet he was forbidden like twice from having an album signing events one of which in Diwan bookshop Cairo university,he was one of the first artists to join the revolution.I decided to publish the interview on my blog instead of trying to re-email Egyptian English language publications.

How would you like to introduce Maa’mon El_Meligy in as little words as possible?
Engineer Maa’mon,although I do not really like titles and formalities.
Just like that?
Yes, only that
Is it because it is your identity?
No it is my job what I really do
So you do not prefer to be artist or singer Maa’mon?
Well everyone can be an artist someone can be a plumber or carpenter who is an artist in own job but being an artist is not a job or identity everyone can be an artist in his own way art is unlimited and sometimes there is art that we do not see, anyone who really appreciates art and beauty could be an artist
When did your interest in music in general show? And at what age you actually started practicing or playing music?
When I was 12 years old my brother had a guitarist friend who taught me how to play and back then the guitar was like a fashion in music because of a famous Egyptian guitarist who introduced guitar in a different way named: omar Khourshid
I know you play the guitar but what is your favorite musical instrument or the closest one to your hear?
: I also play the oud any one playing one string instrument could play another, yet,
Violin and ElNay (Egyptian Flute like) music really touch me a lot and are the closest to my heart.
So what is your favorite music style?
I prefer eastern music,soft music in general,Turkish music is nice too.
Something like andulsian music,Turkish ,asian or you prefer classic Arabic eastern music?
Just classic eastern music
I think Baligh Hamdy and Sayed Darwish are the ones’ who really started music composing in Egypt and on Oud,Sayed Mekawy is great too,sheikh Imam is more of a patriot, politician than you would recognize him as an artist.
When did you start composing music and what made you decide to sing your own composed songs?
I start composing since I was 18 starting by composing some of my brother’s’ poems,but tried to sell these musical notes but singers didn’t think they are the style that would sell so I decided singing them myself.
How many songs and clips do you have?
More than 25
Did you try studying music or just depended on you natural gift?
Tried to study music but studying music is not easy it is an international language anyone from any nationality could read a musical note so studying music needs time and someone to be totally dedicated to it
Did you consider singing famous poets writings like Jahin for instance? whose songs words do you sing?
I am not willing to get in the dilemma of having to get permissions and so to be allowed to sing famous poets words besides I believe famous poets lose their touch and linkage to the people as soon as they are rich they lose the feeling and we have to encourage and present new young poets to the field ,I usually sing the words of:
Osama Abd Al Sabour, Ahmed Kadri, Mohammed El Komy, Alaa’ Nabil, Zinat Al Kaliobi
what about dueto song ,Have you considered singing any and if you plan to whom would you like to sing with?
Well why not but I haven’t considered it yet,if I plan to I would like to sing with: Carol Samaha,Julia Butrus and a young new Egyptian singer with an awesome voice her name is: Rehab Metawaa’
What is the message that you try to deliver through your art?
Am a liberal believing in freedom of speech and expression, am no politician I’m just with justice,rights,no special case, peace and good, love and honesty and these are what I believe in.
What is the age range of your fans? And do you feel their response to your songs,do they appreciate your words?
My first concert attendants age range was from 30,s above but later on all ages respond to my songs.I sing what is from them,their own life,trouble and life circumstances so they do react even youth between 15 to 19 years old.
A song of yours:the sea of fear was prohibited on tv did you face any other prohibitions?
Well no they just refused broadcasting it and it is on you tube,it is a kind of a documentary song to remind people of history,Egypt is known by songs
What do you think of the general level for the music art in Egypt nowadays?
I believe there a lot of good voices but no thoughts <no appropriate words that suiets the Egyptian culture and the Egyptian vocabulary and ideas,they do not even discuss romantic problems,they sing shallow words about shallow problems,even singing for the beloved should be discussing real problems and obstacles ,they only imitate western music ,Munir songs are famous internationally because the westerns want to know our real culture he represents Egyptian Nubian style that's why he is successful,imitation kills our real artistic roots,our culture is really beautiful it just needs to be really presented and to be shined,something like the Reda's dancing group,we just have to believe in our culture and abilities,shallow songs are needed too for celebrations birthdays and so on but the real problem is nowadays 100% of songs are shallow only we need like 20% for celebrations not all the songs
What do you think of directing and the usage of art and music for broadcasting and marketing a certain political view?
Art and songs are one of the strongest tools ,songs are always used for advertising and marketing even in advertisements they are the fastest tool ,in President's Abdul Naser's day Om Kalthom and AbdEl Halim's' songs were used to advertise for the political direction and thoughts those days there's a famous poetry line that says:
The song is a bullet the tongue is its' riffle(gun) ,it builds and it destroys,its' goal is a drum and the ear's corner
الغنوة طلقة اللسان بندقيتها , تبنى و تهدم , هدفها طبلةو اركان الودان
What do you think about the music art future in Egypt?
There is always hope ,Egypt is the mother of talents,it has always been like that every fall in the arts level is followed by a period of strength again
What about your own art ,what are your next plans and hope?
I'm an unplanned person ,I don't plan for anything,I just sing what I feel ,am moody,the owner of the moment,it's just GOD's bless that moves me,the idea is not the idea of existence in the field just for being there if I've something to say I will say it not like the others who'd just sing ,all I wish and plan for is for the message and the voice to reach people,I attended my last concert not even thinking to change my clothes,I simply just do everything spontaneously
Through your life you lived a lot outside Egypt,do you think living abroad affected your art and does it affect art in general and if so would it be positively or negatively?and do you think the environment and life style nowadays with all the obstacles in Egypt would help art or kill it?
Living abroad enriches the human life and soul,there are 7 benefits to travelling,so it reflexes on the artists' life and art for sure as for life in Egypt out of pain art is born and there are many people who'd simply hang everything and every failure on the circumstances life in Egypt is a mix of feelings:injustice,justice,pain,depression,failure all creating an environment for art expression to be born

At the end what would you like to say for the Egyptian youth?
I'd like to tell them: you are excellent and do not listen to anyone who would depress you, you have to believe in your potentials a, your country, your culture and rich history, that's the truth do not lose faith no matter what circumstances are you are a much better generation than other generations, you can achieve anything just believe.

This is Mr Maa'moun's' quote:
الغنوه طلقه بندقيتها اللسان هدفها طبله جوه أركان الودان يا تصيب وتبني يا تصيب وتهدم حسب النيشان

a song is a gun shot into the ears aiming for a drum inside the walls of the ears it'll either shoot and builds or it'll shoot and damages depending on the intention.
his website
http://www.maamoun.net/

his interview with malmihna
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?v=photos&id=641721188#/photo.php?pid=3700650&op=2&o=global&view=global&subj=641721188&id=156948116797

his videos

http://www.facebook.com/video/?of=641721188#/video/video.php?v=1063947819031&subj=641721188

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