Dina El Wedidi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dina El Wedidi
Young woman smiling
Dina El Wedidi in El-azhar Park 25.6.2015
Background information
Birth nameDina El Wedidi
OriginGiza, Egypt
GenresFolk, Fusion, Electroacoustic music, Contemporary music, Jazz
Occupation(s)Singer, Composer, Producer
Years active2011–present

Dina El Wedidi (Arabic: دينا الوديدي), is an Egyptian singer, composer, guitarist, music producer, and storyteller.[1] Dina has been known as the lead performer of an ensemble of musicians who have performed extensively in the past 2 years, fusing local and global styles of music.

Early life[edit]

Wedidi was born and raised in Giza, Egypt. She studied Oriental Literature at Cairo University, where she graduated in 2008,[2] then spent some time working as a translator and sometimes a tour guide in Egypt.[2]

Wedidi discovered her passion for music after joining El Warsha Theater Troupe in 2008,[2] where she learned to sing a wide variety of traditional genres with the help of her tutor Maged Soliman. She then decided to leave El Warsha and began to explore the full potential of her voice. She also participated in many workshops with independent musicians both in Egypt and beyond, including Grammy award-winning Egyptian musician Fathy Salama and singer-songwriter Kamilya Jubran.[1]

Musical career[edit]

Dina El Wedidi playing Guitar

Beginning 2011, Wedidi had quit El-Wersha and founded her own music group of six members besides her. Coincidentally, the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 broke out and El Wedidi took part in a modern Operetta, Khalina Nehlam ('Let's Dream'), with Egyptian band Masar Egbari, Tamer Shalaby, and Tunisian singers Mahdi Rabeh, Anis Dridi and Mohamed Bin Jemaa. The song was a great hit, capturing the Arab Spring of 2011.

Dina El Wedidi concert at Opera Damanhour 2014

Gilberto Gil mentorship[edit]

In 2012 Wedidi was selected by Gilberto Gil and the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative as a protégé,[3] which allowed her to be mentored by the great Brazilian music icon. The two performed together at Back2Black,[4] part of the London 2012 Festival. They later met for musical events and conversations in Switzerland, the United States, Brazil and Egypt. When Gil was asked about Dina, he answered:

Talent she has, commitment she has, dedication and the capacity to work hard, Dina has all that. And with her musicians, she’s open, cooperative and democratic. Her music is so varied, she has a kind of multifaceted personality, working with change. Every few months, like a different person, she brings new ideas. At her age, when you’re curious, that’s what happens, you’re finding a path to follow. It’s an amazing thing – a year ago, she was singing with local bands in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the struggle, and then performing with me, in London, an appropriately bicultural song, ‘Egyptian Bossa Nova’. The mentoring was to give her opportunities to follow the way we work, how we prepare our songs, our records, our concerts, how we travel and choose audiences, and why we come to Europe and go to Africa. Dina has a great artistic personality; she’s been tailored by life to be an artist. She’s already a new-born star.

Nile Project[edit]

In 2013 Wedidi took a part in “the Nile Project” which is a musical and environmental initiative that brings together musicians and thinkers from all over the Nile Valley, Dina participated with her song "Ya Ganouby" (Egyptian Arabic: ياجنوبي; translation: "Oh My South") in which Wedidi sings about her regret for being disconnected from her south (a metaphor for the Nile), and her longing for it to become a more integral part of her life. The song is a musical expression of the collective's mission, to come together and heal the broken relationships within their cultural and natural environments.[6]

Turning Back[edit]

Turning Back is the 2014 debut album from Egyptian musician Dina El Wedidi. which she labelled as New Arab Folk.[7] Dina was presenting her work not only as a singer but also as a composer. Dina's melodies, especially in this album, are known for their complex rhythms and coherent tones, the most famous of which is the song In Wonderland (Fi Belad El Agayeb) and The Grief Of The South (Hozn El Ganoub). El Wedidi featured guest performances by Mazaher[8] and her Mentor Gilberto Gil. The album was produced by the bassist Miles Jay and the violinist Nancy Mounir. The album track list a number of sociopolitical themes, some of which are personal, and others more about love-struggles. Being a Cairo-based musician, El Wedidi finds inspirations Egypt’ streets, which she later quotes in her songs through lyrics and compositions.[9]


Over the past couple of years, Dina has gone down a very different artistic track, figuratively and literally, straying heavily from the tried and true recipe that earned her success. Largely, this involved delving into production to expand her skills beyond singing and Composing. This path also introduced another new, instrument to Dina: (trains)

For this work, she had to dig into uncharted territory and relearn her creative process.

In 2018 Wedidi Released her album Slumber which means in Arabic Manam which is an Important experimental electronic album., produced from layers of processed train sounds, the voices of people, and all that can be used within the train over which she sings. The result is a 30-minute voyage, a short nap crossing seven stations.

Slumber includes topics about breaking free from time machines as a concept also about limitations, imagination, hallucinations, mental prisons and love.




  1. ^ a b "Bands to Watch: Dina El Wedidi". Egypt Independent. 2011-10-27. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  2. ^ a b c "Egypt's Dina El-Wedidi joins legendary Brazilian artist Gilberto Gil - Music - Arts & Culture - Ahram Online". English.ahram.org.eg. 2012-06-11. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  3. ^ "Dina El Wedidi Biography | Official Website". Dinaelwedidi.com. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  4. ^ Robin Denselow. "Back2Black – review | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  5. ^ "Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative: A year of mentoring". Rolexmentorprotege.com. 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  6. ^ "The Nile Project Releases Debut Album – Featuring Nyaruach!". Gatwitchrecords.com. Archived from the original on 2014-03-08. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  7. ^ "Egypt's Dina El Wadidi among TIME's Next Generation Leaders". Egypt Independent. 2019-05-22. Retrieved 2021-11-15.
  8. ^ "Dina El-Wedidi launches her debut album - Music - Arts & Culture". Ahram Online. Retrieved 2021-11-15.
  9. ^ "Dina El-Wedidi launches her debut album - Music - Arts & Culture". Ahram Online. Retrieved 2021-11-15.
  10. ^ "Songs From A Stolen Spring". Valley Entertainment. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  11. ^ "Turning Back". Valley Entertainment. Archived from the original on 27 November 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.