Having just released latest track, FriendZoned, you might say that RaShRadio is the man of the hour on the Egyptian indie music scene. The song’s been making rounds on social media and people simply can’t get enough of this guy’s soulful tunes.
So what better time to sit down for a chat to get the dirt on his new song, fellow artists and collaborators and other more random subjects.
Hey Rash, let’s break the ice with a classic one: does RaShRadio ever even listen to the radio?
Uhh the radio? No, probably because of most of the playlists on there are electronic-based or made up of pop hits that I’m not into. But I shouldn’t say that because they’ve been very supportive and have played my tracks and all.
Well, that’s disappointing. Moving on, tell me a bit about FriendZoned.
FriendZoned is written so I don’t have to talk about it. There isn’t really much to tell; it’s half personal experience, half fiction, and something which I’ve been recently thinking about. Most people have gone through the experience, so I thought I’d make an ode to them.
And the residents of the friend-zone salute you for their new anthem. Tell me, why did you get rid of the trademark glasses?
Well it started off with me not wanting to spend a lot of money on a new frame and I happened to find my dad’s old one that I actually liked. Then the whole major hipster trend started, so I thought I’d get rid of them. I’d rather not see very well than be labelled as someone who started a hipster movement.
You do realise you’re being an uber hipster by rebelling against all hipsters, right? Anyways, so you’re a frequent collaborator with NeoByrd - what makes you guys click?
NeoByrd’s pretty good at what he does, I’m alright at what I do and we’re friends so when we’re bored, we just do what we both like to do- drugs basically- but when we’re out of drugs, we make music. Well no, I’m totally kidding, we just make music.
*Cough*crackhead *cough*. So, RashdRadio, Hany Must and Shady Ahmed: Who’s the best?
That’s an easy one; Hany Must! This guy’s basically an amazing, walking iPod. You tell him what you want to listen to, hand him a guitar and he’s on it with the entire musical structure ready and all. He’s always vocally on point and just an overall amazing performer.
I think I should’ve been interviewing Hany Must instead, then. Oh well, what other singers/songwriters in the Egyptian music scene do you enjoy?
You should have, you definitely should have. Aya Mustafa’s pretty great - Adam Awad as well and Yasser El Masry. I can’t remember who else, but I’m definitely leaving someone out.
You must have some musical guilty pleasure, right? I’m sensing some Britney Spears.
No, no, but I like pop in general; I’m not against it in any way, so if there’s something out there that’s catchy enough, it’ll be on repeat. I honestly don’t think there can be any guilty pleasures when it comes to music; if you like it, just listen to it- that’s what music’s all about.
What’s with the whole Arab’s Got Talent story?
That was horrible. Hands down the worst experience ever, but that’s just TV and how things go down there and we didn’t realise that at the time. At the end of the day, it’s just a show that they’re putting on to get viewership, and just not what we, and by “we” I mean the bunch of us who were involved including Shady Ahmed and NeoByrd - who actually missed the flight - had envisioned. Personally, I don’t aim to please, I just like to put things out there - maybe some people will like them and maybe some won’t.
Spoken like a true indie artist. Time for a random question to test the power of your imagination, and frankly, intelligence: who would win in a fight between a grizzly bear and a monkey with a knife?
Umm monkeys don’t really have a proper thumb that will enable them to successfully manoeuvre a knife and have a proper grip on it - it’s basic biology. If they had that, most of us have been dead by now. So, the grizzly bear, hands down.
I had my money on the monkey, but wow, you watch way too much National Geographic.
No, you’d be wrong- you don’t mess with a grizzly bear, you just don’t.
Let’s wrap this up – I have a kickboxing class to get to and the instructor says really mean things about my thighs when I’m late. What does 2015 hold for RaShRadio?
More disappointments? I don’t know. I honestly have no idea; it’s just another number on the calendar for me. I mean, you don’t feel a click or anything after a new year passes; it’s all the same basically so it doesn’t make any difference to me. I think that’s a less depressive way of looking at time.
Yeah, well time is a social construct anyway.
Well actually, if there’s a single measurement for everything, it’s time, not space, but let’s leave that one for another talk.