Ramy Essam

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Ramy Essam

Ramy Essam (Arabic: رامى عصام‎, pronounced [ˈɾɑːmi ʕeˈsˤɑːm]; born 1987) is an Egyptian musician.[1] He is best known for his appearances in Tahrir Square in Cairo during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. Ramy was born in 1987 in Mansoura, Egypt.[2] Ramy is one of the few singers in Middle East to sing hard rock.

In 2011 Ramy exploded into international fame as the real voice of the Egyptian revolution. His songs spread like wildfire among the demonstrators, and during the height of the uprising Ramy performed in front of millions of people in the Tahrir Square. His song Irhal, in which then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was urged to resign, gained great popularity among the demonstrators. It became internationally known through YouTube, and is referred to as the anthem of the revolution. In 2011, it was selected by Time Out as the third-most world-changing song of all time. [1]

Fame came at a heavy price with torture, arrests and censorship to silence Ramy. His songs were banned and he was unable to perform public shows. Still, he came out even stronger and more determined to speak out against the oppression. Since late 2014, Ramy has been living in Finland and Sweden, which gave him again the chance to create and perform freely and he started to use the opportunity to spread his message around the world as an ambassador of the Egyptian revolution.[3]

One of Ramy's biggest hits, Segn Bel Alwan (featuring Lebanese rapper Malikah) was released in 2016. The song highlighting women’s situation and the issue of gender equality in his home country, became a big hit and one of the most streamed videos in Egypt in the weeks after its release. [2]

Ramy collaborated with UK artist PJ Harvey on "The Camp", a single released in June 2017 to benefit displaced children in the Lebanese Bekaa Valley fleeing the Syrian Civil War.[4]

In 2017 Ramy released his album "Resala Ela Magles El Amn" ("A Letter To The UN Security Council") on Universal Music MENA. The album is a mix of re-recorded older tracks and new compositions. The lyrical topics range from depictions of daily hardships of normal people, the struggle for social justice and women´s rights, environmental issues and criticism of the regime. [3]

On February 26th 2018 Ramy released a song and music video called Balaha. The song went viral in Egypt and reached millions of views in few days. The song criticizing the authoritarian regime was immediately condemned in the Egyptian conservative media, and it annoyed supporters of the regime, being the only revolutionary act during a silent era. [4]

During 2016 and 2017 Ramy toured throughout Finland with the theatre monologue RAMY – In the Frontline, which also gathered 5 stars reviews at the Fringe Festival Edinburgh. [5]

Ramy remains to be one of the loudest voices for the young generation in Egypt and its struggle for a progressive and modern society, but has also become an international symbol of social activism and a beacon of uncommon bravery in the Middle East and the rest of the world. Ramy stands for gender equality, freedom, social justice, equity, health care, minority rights, education and peace. [6][7]

Discography[edit]

  • Manshourat (2011)
  • El Masala (2012)
  • Mamnoua' (2014)
  • Resala Ela Magles El Amn (2017)

[5]

Awards, nominations and honors[edit]

  • #3 on the list "100 Songs That Changed History", Timeout Magazine
  • "Freedom To Create" prize winner, 2011
  • Music Rights Champion, 2016, International Music Council
  • Spirit of Folk Award, 2017, Folk Alliance Festival, US

References[edit]

  1. ^ Soueif, Ahdaf (2012-01-19). Cairo: My City, Our Revolution. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 147–. ISBN 9780747549628. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  2. ^ Ramy Essam
  3. ^ Världskänd musiker får fristad i Malmö (in Swedish)
  4. ^ Eede, Christian (7 June 2017). "New PJ Harvey & Ramy Essam Video". The Quietus.
  5. ^ "Ramy Essam". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-02-15.

External links[edit]