Hi guys, so I’m guessing it’s been a while this has been done here (show of hands if you’re not shocked). Well, if feels great to be here again so I guess I’ll jump right into it.
I was on my laptop, bored, passively thinking of the new anime season and which of my friends’ free Wi-fi would suffer my wrath this time when I stumbled on the weirdest video on YouTube. A song called ‘Moga’ was on my recommendations list and I felt it wouldn’t hurt to check it out. Listening to Moga was such a refreshing experience that I decided to devote the rest of the night to hunting down the creator of such awesomeness which turned out to be a woman called “Maii Waleed”
Maii Waleed is a singer-songwriter from Alexandria, Egypt. Earlier in life she had formal musical training in school but soon lost interest in this form of music and decided to trail her own path.
Playing with several bands over the years in the early 2000s, most notably as the drummer in the all female metal band ‘MASCARA’ she performed in several gigs centered around Alexandria. Her music both solo and with Mascara was used in the developing arts and cultural scene in Alexandria at the time sometimes featuring Maii herself.
Having gained musical experience over the years adding to her music training as a pianist and guitarist, in 2008 she left Mascara and decided to pursue her own solo music career. This resulted in her meeting Lebanese music producer Zeid Hamdan in 2010 and they began working together until the release of the ‘Moga EP’ in 2013 under the name “Maii and Zeid”.
Listening to the Moga EP (yes, I have listened to it) proved to me that the African Rock scene is breaking new grounds with every passing minute. Moga which literally means ‘Wave’ is a 10 track EP that features the sombre and captivating vocals of Maii in perfect sync with the musical genius of Zeid. A Dream Pop (Dream Pop is a variation of indie rock music) compilation in its own right, this EP easily reminds you of some of the household names in Dream Pop we’ve come to know today. Bands like Beach House (particularly these guys), Pure Bathing Culture and Youth Lagoon share huge similarities with the music that Maii & Zeid have been able to create.
The best thing about them for me though is that they project their roots just as well. Asides from the fact that Maii doesn’t sing in English but in Arabic (don’t give me that look, you’ll listen to Japanese bands all the time), their instrumentation reflects Arabic themes that remind me of the days of Aladdin.
The general message of Maii’s music centers around the struggles of young Egyptians and state of the nation as the youths tow a path to self discovery. Lonerism, loss and general concern for the future are some of the major themes reflected in her songs.
All in all, they are a force to be reckoned with in Africa and I feel like they don’t get enough credit and as it my custom I’m gonna make two suggestions. First I highly recommend that you watch the Moga video (it’s above) and listen to the Moga song (also above, the audio and video have differences in speed and delivery), secondly I recommend that you listen to song called ‘Neptune’ also from that EP.
So I think I’m done, can’t wait to see what comes out of ‘Maii & Zedd’ next (hopefully this year) and until the next Indie Spotlight, I guess all I can say is keep rocking y’all!!!
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are entirely the opinion of the writer and do not show the views of AudioInferno.
This post is written by Billy Praise, a guest writer and regular contributor. He’s a big lover of Indie rock and can be found with earphones on jamming away. He wrote in response to our post WE WANT YOU, TO WRITE. Check out his first post for us also on the Indie rock scene in Africa: A little peek into the Indie Rock scene…
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