You’ve probably seen them perform on television with Bassem Youssef or Essad Youniss. They would be hard to forget thanks to their unique sound, laid-back look, and all around fun vibe. “You can call their songs out of the box, eccentric, or unorthodox, but meeting them was definitely a one-of-a-kind experience,” notes eniGma’s Salma Hussein who got to interview the masterminds behind Sharmoofers, Ahmed Bahaa and Moe El-Arkan. A hilarious conversation ensued about the music scene, their upcoming album, and their weird band name.
Bahaa and Moe walked in looking like they’d been up all night. When I asked why, they said it was because they had won an award the night before. Winners of the Most Effective Band in 2014, Sharmoofers are unlike any band we’ve come across in Egypt. With these guys, what you see is what you get: laid-back and down to earth musicians. While I’m familiar with their music, I never quite grasped what genre they fit into. When I asked, Moe told me they don’t really like to limit themselves to one genre but that their music includes elements of reggae funk, Latino funk, African, and oriental. The genius behind the upbeat and funky lyrics is Bahaa, while Moe mostly takes care of the music and beats. Mohamed Labib plays the saxophone, Soli the trumpet, Moustafa Kerdany is the drummer, and Ahmed Ali, Bezra, Mano, and Adel are oriental percussionists. Working as a team and a family, Sharmoofers are neither after fame nor money; they play music simply because it makes them happy. It comes as a surprise to them when they walk into a place and find their music playing in the background. It was an even bigger surprise when they turned on the television one day and found one of their songs being used in an ad!
Something else I’ve always been curious about was the name of the band, Sharmoofers? Bahaa told me it’s a random word they used as a joke and then it became the real name of the band. I will refrain from telling you exactly what it’s supposed to mean because it’s very obscene but I can tell you it’s really funny, so if you want to know, you’ll just have to ask them yourselves. Name aside, it was refreshing to see musicians not take themselves too seriously, and this attitude seamlessly translates into their lyrics and music. They manage to find hilarity in normal, everyday occurrences that all Egyptians can relate to.
After the success of their songs, El Boxer and Khamsa Santy (Five Centimeters), we can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with next. They’re currently working on a new album and an accompanying video clip that will be released within the next couple of months. It’s hard to know what to expect with these guys because they get their inspiration from all kinds of music and everything around them; but it’s safe to say that reggaeton is the core inspiration for Sharmoofers. It’s upbeat and positive, so it makes sense that the band’s motto is “we are happy because of music.” No matter how down you’re feeling, listening to their music will definitely turn your day around; not only will you want to dance, but you’ll have a few laughs too!