Band of the week: The Madfaageya
Courtesy: Madfageya

It’s been a while since I’ve blacked out to live music. And no, I don’t mean the kind of alcohol-induced blackout that usually comes about from slamming back too many beers and cheap tequila. But rather the kind of blackout that emerges from the absolute satisfaction of having your senses stimulated to the point where they are entirely conquered by the musical performance before you.

We’ve all been to one or many of those shows — the kind that allow for time, space and hang-ups to utterly escape you as you dance around a room full of strangers with a massive smile plastered on your face. The thing is, that almost never happens in Cairo.

But to my surprise, this exact feeling happened last Thursday when I was knocked and rocked senseless while attending a live act by the multi-man shaabi-electro crew known as Madfaageya.

Surfacing from Madinet al-Salam in the outskirts of Cairo, the four-man group is rapidly becoming the go-to soundtrack for cranked-up parties, street festivals and now, the downtown Cairo music scene. Under the foresight of Mahmoud Refaat, an Egyptian music producer and founder of the downtown music space and record label 100Copies, Madfaageya has officially lifted the bar in this burgeoning category of Egyptian dance music.

Their sound is something like a power washer blasting whatever cynical residue you have clogged up in the elitist corners of your brain. With rowdy lyrics layered over hip-shaking beats, sub-bass, and shoulder-shaking treble lines, Madfaageya is the latest phenomenon in the cross-over genre of mahragan, also known as electro-shaabi. And by the looks of it, they might also be an indication of the fragmented future of Egyptian dance music. 

Maha ElNabawi 

You have a right to access accurate information, be stimulated by innovative and nuanced reporting, and be moved by compelling storytelling.

Subscribe now to become part of the growing community of members who help us maintain our editorial independence.
Know more

Join us

Your support is the only way to ensure independent,
progressive journalism