“Searching for the ultimate blend”
In the music scene in Egypt, Sabry Elkoshairy is still a well known artist and very much respected musician, known for his very original compositions. When his original oriental pop songs were released in the early eighties, the general public in Egypt was not ready for it, said some. His ideas were criticized, his new genre of music was rejected, it was simply too different and shockingly new. Some people criticized his songs even before listening to them. One thing was certain though, most serious musicians adored his music and so did a great deal of youngsters at that time.
About 20 years later, his idea of blending Western and Oriental music has become an international music trend. “That gives me enough satisfaction”, says Sabry, “for myself, I do not need more recognition, I know that I was at least one of the first founders of that genre of music, if not the very first in the middle east.”.
Sabry started his music career in 1970 as a singer while he was studying engineering in his home town Minya in upper Egypt. He had become a celebrity at the university even when he was still student, he introduced very original ideas for university concerts where he performed his original style. Sabry performed with many different bands, traveled to many different places, inside as well as outside of Egypt; Syria, Jordan, Dubai, Bangkok, Istanbul, Belgium, Norway and Germany. Sabry sang covers of well known pop artists as well as his own songs. Analyzing the differences between Arabic and Western pop music, he has always been driven by his desire to create the perfect Arabic song in a combination of East and West. His aim was to create a simple song, with international (pop) music arrangements, that could please listeners in Europe as well as in the Middle East.
His first tape was ‘Ya Postagy’ (in Egypt, tapes were more common than albums). ‘Samira’, an old folk song in which he blended Nubian tunes, became a great hit in Egypt in 1986.
‘Yallah Bina’, which was a hit in Egypt in the early nineties was actually composed by Sabry. Unfortunately, someone else ended up taking the credit for it.
In 1985, Sabry came out with the first videoclip ever in the Middle East: ‘Ya Postagy’, which was the title of his first release. Like ‘Ansak’, which came out in 1986, ‘Ya Postagy’ was not well understood by the Egyptian public at the time. Recently, various musicians have approached Sabry to bring these old songs out again, now that the time is right and Oriental/Western blends have become a music trend.
“The way I make the music reflects by all means who I am and what I think about the world and how human being should live.”
Indeed, Sabry also combines East and West in his personal life. He fell in love with a Dutch girl and now raises his two children in a small village in The Netherlands, where he opened his own music studio: Combo New Sound. With his fluent Dutch with a touch of the local dialect, he integrated perfectly well in the laid back culture of rural Brabant.
With his never ending enthusiasm for music he supported many starting artists and continues to compose new songs.