Hamza Namira

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Hamza Namira
حمزة نمرة
Namira performing at a concert in 2010
Namira performing at a concert in 2010
Background information
Birth nameHamza Namira
Born (1980-11-15) 15 November 1980 (age 40)[1][2]
Abha, Saudi Arabia[1]
OriginEgypt
Genres
Occupation(s)
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • Oud
Years active1999–present
Labels
Websitehamzanamira.net

Hamza Namira (Arabic: حمزة نمرة‎) is an Egyptian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He has released three albums from the production of Awakening Records: Dream With Me, Insan, Esmaani; and a couple of albums from Namira production, his own foundation: Hateer Min Tany and Mawlood Sanat 80. Besides singing, for which he is mostly known, he has also worked in musical composition and arrangement. Namira composed some of his own work, like the album heads Esmaani and Insan, along with some collaborations with other artists, like Maher Zain's song Ya Nabi Salam Alayka. He also contributed to arranging the cartoony remake Egyptian Jingle Bells (also known as Oh la la song), which was the first shaabi work in his repertoire, later followed by Esta3izo in his fourth studio album.[3]

Namira's work is mostly marked by a recurring sociopolitical theme, diverting from love songs and focusing on topics of general humanist interest, like hope, alienation, generational change, and oppression.[4] He's also interested in reviving cultural heritage. Having been dubbed "Voice of the Revolution", works of Hamza rose to prominence during the 25 January revolution, in which he personally participated, and were considered a symbolic figure thereof.[5] Dari Ya Alby, from his third album, topped the SoundCloud chart for almost a month.[6]

Career[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Namira started to develop an interest in music when he was 17 years old, when he set about learning the guitar, keyboard, and ‘oud. He also vested interests in several musical styles: Middle Eastern, Egyptian traditional and folk music, light rock, jazz, and Latin music. From 1999 until 2004, Namira played in a band headed by the Alexandrian artist Nabil Bakly. Although a relatively unknown musician, Namira later said that Bakly was his main musical influence. He then went on to form his own group. Namira composed his first songs and managed to get a few like-minded friends together to establish the band "Nomaira".[5] In the meantime, he studied commerce at the Alexandria University and graduated in 2003.[7]

In light of Namira's debut album, which had a main fan base of college students,[5] one commentator described him as the "new Sayed Darwish", a cover of whose song, Shedd El Hizam, was released in the album.[8]

Breakthrough success[edit]

Namira's second album, Insan [Human] was released in July 2011.[9] This coincided with the Arab spring, which he declared was a main factor in his popularity. According to him, he wants to express the real issues of his generation that mainstream works don't cover due to concerns of musical market needs and pressure from production companies.[10]

When British Prime Minister David Cameron visited Egypt on 21 February 2011 (only ten days after President Hosni Mubarak left office), Namira was one of a select group of people invited to meet with him and to participate in a one-hour discussion about the future of Egypt.[6]

Namira's fixation on sociopolitical issues continued along the timeline of the Egyptian part of the Arab Spring. In January 2014, he released a single, Wa Ollak Eh, in which he emphasized on rejecting violence, hatred, and the general polarized environment following the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état and Rabia massacre.[11]

Remix series[edit]

In 2016, Namira launched his own weekly TV series Remix (Arabic: ريمكس‎) on the pan-Arab TV channel Al Araby.[12] As of 24 December 2020, 3 seasons of the show were released, with a total number of 34 episodes. Along the series, Namira blended different music genres with local lyrics, including flamenco, electro, celtic, and others. Arabic lyrics were adopted from the Maghreb, the levant, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, while non-Arab included Amazigh, Kurdish, and Armenian.

With a running time of around 20-30 minutes, each episode would examine the historical origin and evolution of a work of folklore or pop culture in an Arab region, or sometimes in even other neighboring regions, like Armenia and Kurdistan.[12] In exploration of the musical piece, Namira would interview original artists (if still alive), their family members, local enthusiasts, or cultural officials. For example, he met with Hamdi Benani for an Algerian cover, and with the grandparent of Sayed Darwish for a remake of his Yā Wild ʿammy (Arabic: يا ولد عمي‎, lit.'O, cousin').[13] At the end of each episode, Hamza would publicly perform a remix of the work, usually outside its place of origin or popularity. A number of songs were performed in London, which is both the headquarter of Al Araby and Hamza's place of residence.[12] Works of Remix were mostly collaborative, featuring Lowkey, Babylone, Isam Bachiri, Hamid Al Shaeri, among others.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

[14][15][16]
Year Title Label Track list
2008 Ehlam Maaya (Dream With Me) Awakening Records
  1. Morgiha – A Swing
  2. Ehlam Ma'aya – Dream With Me
  3. Konna Wehna Soghar – When We Were Young
  4. Fattah Shababeek 'Eeeneik – Spread out Your Eyes
  5. Shedd El Hizam – Tighten Up Your Belt
  6. Ya Tair – O' Bird
  7. Wana Fi Tareeqy – While On My Way
  8. Al Taghreeba – Alienation 1
  9. Ya Rabb – O' Lord
  10. Ehlam Ma'aya (Acoustic Version) – Dream With Me
2011 Insan (A Human) Awakening Records
  1. Insan – A Human
  2. El-Midan – The Square
  3. Hansa – I'll Forget
  4. Taghreeba II – Alienation 2
  5. Ya Muhawwin – O' Consoler
  6. Ewidooni – Promise Me
  7. Ibn El-Watan – Compatriot
  8. Balady Ya Balady – Homeland, O' Homeland
  9. Ya Hanah! – Lucky him!
  10. Doori – Roll on
  11. Haser Hesarak – Besiege Your Siege
  12. Ala Bab Allah – By Allah's Door
  13. Wushoosh – Faces
  14. Sout – A Voice
  15. Hila Hila Ya Matar – Come Down O' Rain!
  16. Esmy Masr – My Name's Egypt
2014 Esmaani (Listen Up) Awakening Records
  1. Esmaani – Listen Up!
  2. Sabah El-Kheer – Good Morning
  3. Ya Lala
  4. Ay Kalam – Empty Words
  5. Dalmet kda leeh – Why The Darkness?
  6. El-Atr – The Train
  7. Tesmahy- Would You?
  8. Ya Sidi – My Master
  9. La Tabki – Don't Cry
  10. Kolo Beya'addi – It All Pass
  11. Ya Mazloom – O' Oppressed One
  12. Ma3a EL-Salama – Farewell (Alienation 3)
2018 Hateer Min Tany (I'll Fly Again) Namira
  1. Dari Ya Alby – Dissemble, My Heart
  2. Sheekayyo
  3. Hateer Min Tany – I'll fly again
  4. Wala Sohba Ahla – Not a Better Company
  5. Bos Bos – Look, Look!
  6. Zahra
  7. El Wad El Abeet – The Naive Boy
  8. Dari Ya Alby (acoustic)
  9. Madadd – Help!
  10. Shuwayyet Habayeb – Some Dears
2020 Mawlood Sanat 80 (Born in the Year 80) Namira
  1. Mawlood Sanat 80 – Born in the Year 80
  2. El Waqaa El Akheera – The Last Fall
  3. Esta'eezo – Seek refuge
  4. El Saa'a 6 Sabahan – 6 in the Morning
  5. Faady Shuwayya – A Bit Idle
  6. Mesh Mohem – Doesn't Matter
  7. Yaaba – Buddy
  8. Ahkeelak Khofy – Tell You About My Fear
  9. Ma'lesh – Sorry
  10. El Essa W Elli Kaan – The Story and How it Went
  11. Ghenwa Leek Min Alby – A Song From The Heart To You
  12. Feeh Naas – There's People

Remix[edit]

[17][18][19]
Season (Year) Release Date Track English Translation Collaborator(s) Fused genre Original Work
Season 1 (2016) 15 April Inas Inas (4:56) Tell him, Tell him Reminisce Reggae Band Reggae Mohamed Rouicha (Morocco, Amazighi folklore)
21 April Wa Sari Sara El Leil/Wein a Ramallah (5:46/1:20) Oh, the Night Went By/Where? To Ramallah Tarek an Nasser [ar] and Rum band Arabic pop Jordanian/Palestinian folklore/Salwa Al-Aas [ar]
28 April Ya Zareef Al Tool (5:05) O' Statuesque 47Soul Shamstep Palestinian folklore (Dabke)
5 May Ya Oud Al Rouman (3:41) O' Trunk of Pomegranate Baraka African music Fata Najran [ar] (Saudi folklore)
12 May Ya Nes Jaratli Gharaeeb (5:51) Wonders Befell Me, O' People! Zap Tharwat [ar], Omar Sammur, and Ben Eaton hip-hop music Hamdi Benani (Tunisian/Algerian Ma'luf)
19 May Mal Almagadir (4:29) What's With the Goings? Nour Project smooth jazz Ahmed Munib [ar]; Katkot Elamir [arz] (Nubian folklore; Egyptian Shaabi)
26 May Manich Mena (4:25) I Don't Belong Here AlQoura funk music Algerian/Moroccan folklore; Reggada
2 June Salma Ya Salama/Raggle Taggle Gypsy (4:23) Farewell O' Salama Wraggle Taggle Band Irish music Sayed Darwish (Egyptian Zajal)
7 July Wain Ayamak Wain (2:44) Long Since Your Time Hamid Al Shaeri electro music (Libyan folklore)
14 July Ya Bahr El Toufan (4:13) O' Floody Sea Valkania Balkan Music Boudjemaâ El Ankis, Mohamed El Badji [ar; fr] (Algerian Chaabi)
21 July Jaljal Alayya Al Romman [ar] (4:47) Pomegranate Enshadows Me Ian Burdge, Chris Worsey, and Simon Hale Classical music Iraqi folklore
28 July Yawman Toatebna (4:05) We Once Gave Reproof Ramon Ruiz and Manuel de la Niña Flamenco Port-Saidi folklore (Simsimiyya)
Season 2 (2018) 28 September Khlili (3:45) My Beloved Génération Taragalte Tuareg music Lemchaheb [fr; ar] (Berber music)
5 October Yamma Mwel El Hawa (3:04) What's with the Longing, Mother? Frankly Jazz Jazz music Palestinian folklore
12 October Dar Ya Dar (4:17) Home, Oh Home Eftekasat World fusion Wadih El Safi(Lebanon)
26 October Siniya (3:23) Dining Table Autostrad Alternative rock Nass El Ghiwane (Moroccan chaabi & folklore)
2 November Ya Tair Ya Tayer (3:28) O' Soaring Bird Balkanatics Balkan music Ismail Khidr [ar]; Jamil AlAas [ar] (Jordanian folklore)
9 November Gmar El Ghorba (4:11) Moon of Alienation Artmasta Reggaeton Walid Tounsi (Tunisian chaabi)
16 November Ayoub wu Na'saa (4:56) Ayoub and Na'saa Aytac Dogan [tr] World music Khadra Mohamed Khidr [ar] (Egyptian folklore)
23 November Ya Yomma Fe Dag 'Aa Babna (3:44) The Door's Knocking, Mother Smith & Sons Bluegrass music Abu Arab [simple; ar] (Palestinian folklore)
30 November Tunisian Hadrah (Al Burdah) (3:34) The Mantle Emre Moğulkoç Sufi music Sufi Nasheed
7 December Ya Zare'e El Bazringosh (3:31) O' Cultivator of Bazringosh Declan Zapala Classical music Iraqi folklore
14 December 'Aytat L'ammala (3:35) The Prefectural Lament Habib Belk Gnawa music Moroccan Aita
21 December Nazani (3:03) Graceful Dante Ferrara Classical music Նազանի by Sayat-Nova (Armenian folklore)
29 December Erdi 'Alina Ya Lmeema (3:43) Be Pleased With Us, Mother 8-Ball band Indie rock Salah Farzit (Tunisian chaabi)

Extended plays[edit]

Year Title Track list
2015 El Mesaharaty (Suhur waker)
  1. Zeina
  2. Zahma – Jam
  3. Ghorba – Alienation
  4. Kora – Football
  5. Helal – Crescent
  6. Manish Darwish – I'm no Dervish
  7. Wasfa – Recipe
  8. Iblees – Lucifer
  9. Nabina – Our Prophet
  10. Taraweeh – Tarawih
  11. El Omm – Mother
  12. Napoleon
  13. Khatma – A Complete Recitation
  14. Intizar – Waiting
  15. Istighfar
  16. Akher 10 Ayam – The Last 10 Days
  17. Daqqet Tabla – Beat of Drums
  18. Leilet AlQadr – Qadr Night
  19. Akher Leila – The Last Night

Singles[edit]

Year Release Date Title
2009 22 December Asforein – Two Birds
2011 21 October Lessa El'adl Gheyab – Justice Still Lacking (live)
2012 26 July Betheb Haga – You Love Something (Soundtrack of Sehr El Dunia [ar] by Mustafa Hosny [ar])
2012 1 August Kun 'Awna – Be of Help (Soundtrack of Khawatir [ar] by Ahmad Al Shugairi)
2013 14 June Soundtrack of Bekhtesar (In short) TV show by Moataz Abdelfatah [ar]
2014 21 January Wa Ollak Eh – What to Tell You
2019 8 February Hekayet Tefl – A kid's story
2020 15 October Ft. in Emlaq (Giant) with Hassan El Shafei

Videography[edit]

Year Title
2008
  • Dream with Me (Ehlam Ma'aya)
2009
  • Two Birds (Asforeen)
2010
  • O Israel (Ya Israeel)
  • I'm the Egyptian (Ana El-Masri)
2011
  • Human (Insan)
  • Hila Hila ya Matar (Come Down O' Rain)
  • Mawaweel
2013
  • The Square (El-Midan, in Arabic الميدان)
2014
  • What to Tell You (Wa Ollak Eih, in Arabic وقلّك إيه)
2018
  • Dary ya Alby
2019
  • Hekayet Tefl (meaning a kid's story, in Arabic حكاية طفل)
2020
  • Mawlood sanat 80 (in Arabic مولود سنة 80)
2020
  • Esta3izo (in Arabic استعيذوا)

Political views[edit]

Hamza has openly opposed the occupation of Palestine and the official position in Egypt towards the Arab–Israeli conflict.[10] He was also a vocal proponent of the Arab spring, naming El Midan after Tahrir Square, due to its role in the Egyptian revolution, and dedicating his Hila Hila Ya Matar for the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia. Namira also dedicated his Hekayet Tefl for the children of Syrian refugees.[20]

In November 2014, Namira's songs were banned from Egyptian state radio for "criticising the authorities".[21] In response to questions about the ban and his legal status in Egypt, Hamza declared that he only expresses his opinions as per rights included in the Egyptian constitution, and that he doesn't identify as an activist, nor a politician.[10]

In an interview with youm7, Namira emphasized that he doesn't affiliate with the Muslim Brotherhood organization. He expressed his support for the Egyptian Military in the Sinai insurgency and expressed condolences for Ahmed Mansi, an Egyptian colonel killed during a terrorist attack.[22]

Philanthropy[edit]

Namira joined a two-day UK tour organized by Human Appeal International to fundraise for medical equipment and provide training for more than 10,000 medical practitioners in Egypt.[23][24] He performed in Vienna, Austria in October 2014 in an event organized by Humanic Relief.[25]

In 2019, Namira released Hekayet Tefl in collaboration with United Muslim Relief as part of a fundraiser to support children of refugees of the Syrian Civil War in Jordan.[20] The campaign raised around 90k Egyptian pounds.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b عايش [Ayesh], محمد [Muhammad] (18 January 2014). "مصري تربَّى في السعودية أصبح أشهر فناني الثورة [An Egyptian raised in KSA became the most popular artist of the Egyptian revolution]". Alarabiya.net. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  2. ^ Abdelrazek, Alaa (21 December 2020). "تصدر موقع يوتيوب بمصر.. حمزة نمرة صوت الثورة يعود بـ"مولود سنة 80″" [Topping Youtube Egypt .. Hamza Namira, Voice of the Revolution, Returns with "Born in the Year 80"]. Al Jazeera.
  3. ^ أيمن [Ayman], كرمة [Karma]. ""فلكزيون" مع حمزة نمرة: برضه مكملين [Follkzion with Hamza Namira: we are still going on]". Masr al-Arabiya. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Egyptian singer Hamza Namira to make London debut". Arab News. 22 December 2016. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Foley, Sean (10 April 2012). "The Artist of the Revolution: Hamza Namira, the Arab Spring, and the Dream of a Free Egypt". Middle East Institute. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  6. ^ a b Guan, Frank (27 February 2018). "For Weeks, the Top Artist on SoundCloud Was an Icon of the Arab Spring". Vulture. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  7. ^ @HamzaNamira (16 March 2019). "أنا خريج تجارة إنجليزي جامعة اسكندرية دفعة ٢٠٠٣ واشتغلت فترة في إدارة المشروعات.. كانت أيام صعبة" (Tweet) (in Arabic) – via Twitter.
  8. ^ "Hamza Namira's "Dream With Me" restores Sayed Darwish". Al-Mustaqbal. 4 July 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  9. ^ Abou Arab, Bassem (1 August 2011). "Hamza Namira: Insan". Cairo360. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  10. ^ a b c "Exclusive interview with Hamza Namira: 'I'm not a politician or activist'". The New Arab. 9 February 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  11. ^ "البرادعي يغني على تويتر "امتى نفوق؟" ويرفض "الحرث بالبحر" [ElBaradei Sings "When shall we wake up?" on Twitter and Rejects Pounding Sand]. CNN Arabic (in Arabic). 23 January 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  12. ^ a b c Lavent, Tine (10 November 2016). "Hamza Namira is Back". Egyptian Streets.
  13. ^ "يا ولد عمي". Remix. Season 3. Episode 4. 21 February 2002. Al Araby.
  14. ^ "Hamza Namira". Apple Music. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  15. ^ "Hamza Namira". Deezer. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Discography". Hamza Namira. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  17. ^ ريميكس مع حمزة نمرة - تلفزيون العربي | الحلقات الكاملة [Remix with Hamza Namira - Al Araby TV | Full Episodes] (Television production) (in Arabic). Al Araby.
  18. ^ ريمكس مع حمزة نمرة | الموسم الثاني | الحلقات كاملة [Remix with Hamza Namira | Season 2 | Full Episodes] (Television production) (in Arabic). Al Araby.
  19. ^ ريمكس مع حمزة نمرة | الموسم 3 | الحلقات كاملة [Remix with Hamza Namira | Season 3 | Full Episodes] (Television production) (in Arabic). Al Araby.
  20. ^ a b "حمزة نمرة يهدي اللاجئين السوريين أحلام "حكاية طفل"" [Hamza Namira Dedicates the Dreams of "A Kid's Story" to Syrian Refugees]. Arab48. 22 February 2019.
  21. ^ "Egypt radio bans popular singer Hamza Namira for 'critical' songs". BBC News. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  22. ^ "حمزة نمرة يحرق قلوب الإخوان.. الجماعة تهاجم المطرب بعد حواره مع تليفزيون اليوم السابع" [Hamza Namira Burns Muslim Brotherhood's Ears ... The Society Attacks the Singer after his Interview with Youm7 TV]. youm7 (in Arabic). 23 December 2020. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  23. ^ Elkamel, Sara (27 January 2013). "Hamza Namira performs in UK fundraiser for medical equipment for Egypt". Ahram Online. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  24. ^ "Art Alert: Egyptian musician Hamza Namira to perform in two UK concerts". Ahram Online. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  25. ^ "Opferfest-Veranstaltung". Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  26. ^ "Change the Life of a Refugee Child Today". Facebook Ads. 7 February 2019.

External links[edit]