Ritza is a Cairo based electro/surfpop group featuring Maii Waleed on vocals. The group got its start in 2015, and is currently formed by Mohamed El Mallawany on bass, and Hassan Seleit on drums and Mohamed El Sammad on synth. Through surfing the gig circuit, including Oshtoora Festival (RIP), they carved out a place for themselves with their signature robotic Arabic synth disco, heavy on the bass, evident in their single "Shuk."
To the dismay of a fan base that was just getting warmed up to the spiky Ritza, their last gig was in January of 2017, in which they played a full set backed by the beautiful visuals of Mostafa El Kashef. But we can rejoice, for after a year hiatus in which sound and lineup was reconsidered, Ritza is back on the scene.
So what has come out of this hiatus? According to Maii Waleed, “more synth, more authentic lyrics. More of my true self, more of the guys' expression. Above all, more communication, awareness and understanding.”
In comparison to Waleed’s solo work, Ritza is her playground where she allows herself and the band to “shut out any critical aspects and filters” and just be. “Ritza resembles the frame through which I project my deepest fears and desires but with a playful and fun attitude. It rarely gets dark, but even when it is, you will always find a playfully sarcastic tone.”
Ritza is currently recording their debut album, experimenting more and tapping into the potential of their current lineup. “We're aware that our grip of that vision will take time to settle and with time might even become more powerful and real.” It’s good to have Ritza back.
Ritza will be making their reentry to the Cairo live music scene with Neobyrd this Thursday, February 15th at Cairo Jazz Club.
Cairo Jazz Club event page here.