It’s no secret that when it comes to the music scene abroad, the world is mostly tapped into the European and American industries, with talented minority communities often being overlooked – including the MENA region. 

This is where London-based radio show AAAZT comes in. Launched in 2021, the show is entirely produced, curated, and presented by Egyptian Deana Hassanein. The show began as an expression of Deana’s own love of Arabic and North African Music. 

“I have lived in London my whole life but nothing will beat the sound of my culture,” she told SceneNoise in a written interview. “The music scene is so rich and diverse… [we] want to hear the music of our people. We want to feel at home away from home.”

AAAZT doesn’t just play MENA music – it interviews the artists responsible for the sounds we so enjoy as well, providing them with a further platform to express themselves. We asked Deana which guests have graced the show so far.

“I have had guests involved in the show both virtually and in the studio. I have interviewed the likes of: Imen Siar, Chyno with a Why?, Nadine, Intibint, Nayomi, Timba JD, ss.hh.a.n.a, Remenkimi, Mazyn, and Rita L'oujdia. To name a few!”

With an impressive trail of interviews, it’s no surprise that AAAZT has garnered attention and support from like-minded MENA-music advocates in the region – although Deana is still in awe that the show has already seen this level of impact only a year into its creation. 

“I have been shown so much love and support by Big Hass, Freek, Daffy, Flipperachi, Phobia Isaac, Elyanna, Eyad Tannous, Tony Productions, Big Moe, TooDope and Inez. I still pinch myself.”

The show plays on Tribe Urban Radio in the UK but that doesn’t stop it from being accessible to anyone interested in tuning in. By simply downloading the Tribe Urban Radio app, you can listen anywhere in the world.  

Being birthed from a passion for culture and music alike in a day and age where arguably both are dying in mainstream media, AAAZT is bound to have a bright future. We asked Deana what she sees coming next for her passion project.

“I want to be part of connecting and promoting the culture and celebrating us instead of constantly seeing negative portrayals in the media. We know who we are and what we are capable of and we have so much to celebrate, so you can expect me to continue doing that.”