Some ten years ago, two young kids dreaming of music and fame emerged from Egypt’s streets to conquer the country with their unique brand of electro-infused shaabi, a precursor to the mahraganat scene. From blaring their music in those same streets, to becoming marquee names at some of Cairo’s biggest clubs and venues, to performing across the world; Oka and Ortega are very much pioneers of one of the few contemporary, native sounds in Egypt and the Middle East.
however, the duo have drawn the curtains on a spectacular, whirlwind 10 years
together, with Ortega confirming through a video on Instagram what many had
begun to suspect: that the twosome have officially split. If you were
looking for some kind of 2Pac/Biggie, friends-to-foes story, you’re out of
luck. In the video, Ortega was keen to point out that they have split on good terms
and that he will forever be proud to have his name attached to his ex-partner-in-crime.
While Oka and Ortega slipped out of the limelight in recent times, they’re influence and impact is still being felt, most notably through the runaway train that is the mahraganat music scene in Egypt. While the term electro-shaabi is disputed among some circles, it’s this exact sound that sent ripples across Egypt, eventually paving the way for mahraganat music as we know it today.