With a tightly-knit roster of artists and a work philosophy that prioritizes quality and integrity over quantity and mass-appeal, artist management and PR firm Simsara - founded and run by Sarah El Miniyawi - has been a key player in the region’s alternative music scene, working closely with the likes of Maurice Louca, Nadah El Shazly, Nancy Mounir, and Baskot Lel Baltageyya to bring their music to the world.
As a seasoned artist manager in her own right, Miniyawi has witnessed the rise and fall of various genres throughout her career, yet her staunch conviction in the music of the artists she manages has helped her carve out a secure place in the MENA music industry. Today, the artists she works with have enjoyed longstanding careers and international recognition, and perform regularly in shows and festivals across Europe and around the globe.
At the 16th edition of Le Guess Who? in Utrecht, the Netherlands, we caught up with Miniyawi to discuss the variety of music coming out of the region, the ups and downs of the industry as a whole, and Simsara’s mission to export Arabic music to a global audience through marketing and live performances. Miniyawi also takes a moment to speak on the rise of mahraganat music, which in recent years has grown to become one of the most popular genres in Egypt, and has gone on to influence Cairo’s underground music scene, leading to the birth of multiple styles that fuse shaabi elements with contemporary electronic music production.
Watch the full video here: