the influence of ‘underground music’ on our current generation
While Some people think that change is beneficial and others consider it very harmful., under-ground music has an affection on our younger generation mostly in all Arab countries, because number of views on YOUTUBE and many online Arab music platforms prove that teenagers and younger people in our societies are heading to hear a completely different music such as rap, new local pop, rock and metal which used to be a strange western type of music a decade ago., this cultural exchange started with the famous Arab spring and during the beginning of the massive spreading Internet., and It is quite natural that there is a cultural contrast between old and new generations, especially in fashion taste, art and music.
Many people consider Egypt a cultural center for all the peoples of the region.
This influence is evident throughout history, especially in the modern era, with the development of theater arts and the restoration of Arab poetry through Egyptian or other poets of different nationalities who lived in Egypt and became famous through its cultural communities, and this cultural radiance grew in many fields such as cinema, music and also the art of the novel.
The proof of that is the reputation of many artists across Egypt as a starting point for them, such as Umm Kulthum, Farid Al-Atrash, and the singer Warda, as well as actors such as Adel Imam and Ismail Yassin.
“Ever since the turn of the twentieth century, Cairo was the undisputed culture center of the Arab East. By 1952, when the Free Officers ousted King Faruq and unleashed their youthful revolution, the Egyptian entertainment industry (theatre, cinema, dance and song) had no rival in the Arab world and reached even to non-Arab Iran.” (Massad, 2003, p.23).
Perhaps the Egyptian leadership was due to the wide audience that qualified for there to be a large market of listeners and viewers alike with this huge presence of population density as the largest commercial market in the region, and the geographical location and historical circumstance also affected that, as the rulers of Egypt in the first years of the twentieth century adopted an open spirit on all types of arts in general, and music and singing in particular.
The old “Tarb” lyrical character continued to dominate the Arab and Egyptian song, especially until the beginning of the second millennium, but it seems that the winds of renewal predicted the coming change, as it started with the beginning of the millennium, the song changes little by little. There is “rai” appearing in Algeria, Nubian singing grows in Nuba and Aswan in Upper Egypt, and rap singing in Jordan and Lebanon is flourishing bit by bit.
Shortly before the outbreak of the Arab Spring, many youth bands appeared around the world that made music completely different from the way people are accustomed to, a band singing about revolution, confronting tyranny, Sufi love, and resistance to ruling regimes. for example: Mashrou layila in Lebanon, Iskandarella in Egypt, and the Al Murabba Band in Jordan these are a few bands among hundreds spread all over Arab countries.
“For young people, this demand also personal freedom and voice. Protests, many noted, were marked by displays of optimism, volunteerism, creativity and personal expression in music and the arts, even architectural intervention in the small city Tahrir Square had become.” (Singerman, 2013, p.19).
It is imprecise to say that this type of music has an effect other than on the reality of new generations, or vice versa, Nobody will ever know but what is certain is that people have changed and changed their music.
The Arabic song is no longer about love and affection, as it is known, but now, there are different types of song subjects that are heard in the Arab street, and they are of course not commercial songs. They are songs that talk about life and its experiences, about the problems of the citizen, about the revolution, the difficulties of studying, work and immigration, about food and sweets as well.
“Mahargan artists also frequently sing about everyday life in the streets, as in the wickedly catchy “Ana Aslan Gamid”, I am really tough), by Tamnya fel-Miyya (Eight Percent)”(Swedenburg, 2012, p. 42).
What I want to say in the end is that the eternal dilemma of “art or reality first” is no longer of interest to a generation tired of repeating history, the young generation of the revolutionary Arab Spring that decided that it will not live as before.
Rather, they will try to change with they all can, even if they cannot do so, then at least they will not be forced to hear music that comes under the auspices of the regime and social restrictions, so we change the music and it of course changes us.
글 | Ibrahim Abdalla/이브라 기자 (이주민방송MWTV)
Swedenburg, T. (2012). Egypt’s Music of Protest: From Sayyid Darwish to DJ Haha. Middle East Report, (265), 39-43, Retrieved December 22, 2020. Tacoma, WA: Middle East Research and Information Project, Inc. (MERIP)
Singerman, D. (2013). Youth, Gender, and Dignity in the Egyptian Uprising, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Press9(3), 1-27. Durham, NC: Duke University
Massad, J. (2003). Liberating Songs: Palestine Put to Music. Journal of Palestine Studies, 32(3), 21-38. Oakland, CA: University of California Press on behalf of the Institute for Palestine Studies