Ousso Lotfy is perhaps the most in demand guitarist in the Middle East. Though currently playing or having played with the biggest pop stars in the region, this is not where his heart lies: he has been integral in building the Egyptian music scene since the mid ‘90s, is the cofounder of bands Nagham Masry and HOH, and a member of Eftekasat.
Beyond being a guitarist, Ousso is also a composer, producer and sound engineer. He did his masters at Berklee College of Music in Valencia where he collaborated with musicians the likes of Victor Wooten, and spent a summer teaching guitar there. Additionally, Ousso was the orchestrator of the breakthrough underground festival in Egypt, Save Our Sound (SOS), which gave hundreds of upcoming artists a platform to perform in front of audiences of thousands. Though this ended, it gave birth to another project of Ousso’s.
Ewsal Bel3araby is a phenomenal online educational platform providing a huge variety of lessons from Egypt’s master musicians, the “mafia” as he calls them, videos of these musicians jamming together, along with venue and event listings, artist profiles and more. The other side of this project is El Sellem, in which Ousso selects young artists from each of Cairo’s governorates and brings them to study with teachers in Cairo on a bi-weekly basis, free of charge, in an attempt to cultivate a professional and inspired network of musicians around Egypt. This project is unprecedented in Egypt and the scope is monumental; leave it to Ousso to bring something like this to fruition - the second student graduation show of the El Sellem program just took place.