When someone thinks of Egypt's top pop stars, the first people who come to mind are Amr Diab, Tamer Hosny and very recently Mohamed Ramadan, but soon Tameem Youness will be usurping the throne. Known best for his Raseeni web-series, Youness excelled in the field of comedy and digital marketing, until he decided that he too can become a musician and join the big leagues. With the help of a few fellow artists, he released a seriously nostalgic music video with clockwork choreography, “Enti Ay Kalam”, which took over the Egyptian web, and has been fluctuating between the #3 and #5 trending spot on Youtube.
The first thing that caught our attention was the heavy lyrical work and the amount of effort invested in it, as Youness is not only a creative musician, but an incredible lyricist. The song follows a artful lyrical approach, which consists of repeating exactly three words throughout the whole song “Enty Ay Kalam” (You Are Nothing). The same technique has been utilized by many legendary artists like Daft Punk in their hit song “Around The World”. But what’s fascinating about Tameem’s new song is how each utterance of “Enty Ay Kalam” evokes a different feeling, enunciated with immense depth and range of emotion. Such deep words can only be inspired by a life changing event that could be anything from break-up, to the loss of a childhood pet. Halfway through the song, film composer Amir Hedayah drops in with a wig and shades to sing the same magic words in Greek (είσαι ένα τίποτα- eísai éna típota), along with a few more that we don't understand. What are they??
The overall vibe of the song reminds us of ElHadaba’s late '80s hit “Shawa2na.” Both Tameem and ElHadaba’s vocals are sunk in chorus (or some sort stereo widener effect) to give the illusion of the existence of more than one Tameem Youness. Not only this, but the song also sounds tight, because of the contribution of talented musicians and non-musicians. On darbouka is ay kalam DJ/composer Safi, who chose the Egyptian se’idi rhythm that has everyone shimmying involuntarily from the get go. On the bass guitar is bassist Mohamed El Farra, who plays an ay kalam locked bass line, topped with an ay kalam electric guitar riff by Mohamed Adel and an ay kalam violin line by Mohamed Medhat that evokes that saltanny ya gada3 feeling, until Dr. Alfons comes out of nowhere to play one of his ay kalam 8-bit solos with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. Wael Alaa put all of these impeccable elements together to produce a solid song tackling widespread social controversies and plying the collective emotional depth of humanity. Check the music video below.