There’s this one song everyone has been singing lately and we just can’t get it out of our heads. It’s like we’re in a coma and all we can hear is falatet, falatet, falatet (lost it, lost it, lost it) and it’s as if it really did falatet menena (we’ve lost it). Perhaps it’s because the song is so addictive or maybe it’s because this dynamic duo, Dina Elsherbiny and Hassan Abouelrouss, was so unexpected. Who knows! To learn all about the secret behind his success, eniGma’s Nouran Deyab spoke to Abouelrouss but with his very busy schedule, we had to settle for a phone call. The fascinating conversation that ensued was about everything, from how he started his career to his collaboration with Dina Elsherbiny in their latest music video and the misunderstandings that followed. With his out-of-the-box and down to earth personality, it felt like a conversation between friends.
Hassan Abouelrouss has been turning heads recently, with a lot of talk and speculation. We made it our mission to get to know the guy behind those crazy colourful outfits and those hip beats and we were delighted to find out that he’s just as bubbly inside as he is outside! Besides all the humour, he is also very kind and giving. He is the kind of friend you can count on and who loves to spread his cheer at orphanages and nursery homes. This is pretty much the reason why all his friends went along with him when he asked everyone to wear identical red blazers at his Zed Park wedding that went viral on social media!
We all remember Hassan’s iconic role in 100 Wesh (100 Faces), the Ramadan series starring Asser Yassin and Nelly Karim where he burst onto the scene and into our lives; but Hassan’s career in the field goes further back than that. From taking on several roles in films to participating in numerous acting workshops, Hassan has been fighting his way to where he is now. And now he’s been making hits that are going viral on YouTube and all social media platforms especially TikTok, with the latest being Falatet Meny (I’ve Lost My Mind).
How did you and Dina meet?
I originally met Dina at a Ruby concert. She was so charismatic and was such a lively spirit! It was more than I could have ever imagined her. That was the moment that I knew that I really wanted to collaborate with her. I knew that we could do something mind-blowing. I had already written the song at the time but I didn’t get to show it to her till the second time we met. She really liked it and danced to it – but I didn’t broach the topic of a collaboration just yet.
The third time I met Dina is when we really hit it off; we had such strong chemistry and we felt that we basically have the same personality. We like to joke around and we always want to have a good laugh. A couple of days after we met again, I just told her straight up, “do you want to do this song with me?” and she accepted with no hesitation and was actually pretty excited about it.
What was your first impression of Dina?
From the first time I met Dina, she was awesome, lighthearted and fun and we became such good friends. And how down to earth she is, is unbelievable! Dina is brave and she’s an experimental artist – she’s willing to try everything and that’s amazing!
How did the song and music video come about and what inspired the concept?
After Dina accepted to collaborate with me, we went to the studio and recorded. The lyrics are pretty much who I am, this is how I express my feelings and love – through metaphors and fun quirky lines.
Filming took 48 hours and we chose to film the music video in El Gouna because it’s a great location with stunning views. The best part was that it was a passion project; no one was in it for the money. Ali Abutaleb, who is a very good friend of mine, directed it and we went to Dezel for distribution. After we figured everything out, we headed to El Gouna to start filming. Mind you, no one took a penny for this project! As soon as we finished filming, we released the music video and it went viral. The best part of it all was showing up on the El Gouna Film Festival red carpet with Dina after the release. It was legendary!
I absolutely love Egyptian culture and that’s why I decided on a Bedouin theme but with a twist: modern Bedouin with a high-end touch! Dina has that look, so she fit the theme perfectly. I also wanted it to be colourful. But, honestly, Abutaleb really helped put it all together and he was the one who thought of the Bedouin theme.
I love animals, so I incorporated goats and chickens into the music video. Even the outfit I was wearing was special, it was designed by Shaheen the international graffiti artist.
How did Badra come into play with the music video?
Badra is a very good friend of mine and we’ve shared the stage several times and it’s always great! Besides, she is extremely talented. She doesn’t only belly dance, she is also a contemporary dancer and she showed that side of her in the music video and she was the one who created the choreography.
After the song was released, rumours began spreading about you and Dina, how would you respond to them?
Dina and I have built such a great friendship and she is a sister to me. We’ve become so close.
Do you consider yourself more of a singer or actor?
I consider myself an entertainer! I love both equally and I’m willing to experiment within the arts. I also plan on experimenting with different music genres in the future.
If you could collaborate with a big star, who would it be?
The two people I would love to collaborate with are Ruby and Mohamed Ramadan.
At what point in your career would you be satisfied with what you’ve achieved?
My goal is to be an international entertainer but in the most creative way possible. The noblest kind of art is the art of making people happy – and that is exactly what I aim to do! I don’t just want to create, I like putting a smile on people’s faces, it gives my work purpose.
What are your upcoming projects?
I’m currently working on a song similar to Kol El Nas (All The People) and also on other songs with the same people that I worked on Kol El Nas with. I’m also working on a series with Watch iT, I can’t give many details just yet but it has to do with music. And I’m also working on a movie that also has to do with music.
Photography: Khaled Fadda
Styling: Amna Elshandaweely
Art Direction: Ahmed Gamal (j-ME)
Hair: Alsagheer Salons
Makeup: Sally Rashid