#WaraElMazzika: International Music Producer El Nabulsi Gives Us the Exclusive After the Success of Samira Said’s ‘Ott w Far’!
In this edition of #WaraElMazzika, we talked to one of the most promising music producers out there, El Nabulsi! Since he entered the scene in Egypt in 2016, El Nabulsi intends to spark new life in a region’s artistry that has always had his appreciation. From having the honor of being chosen to work on songs for the World Youth Forum three years back to working on high-level projects with key names in the industry, El Nabulsi stands to be a notably unique influence on the music scene in the region for years to come.
We got to talk with El Nabulsi after the major success of his song with the Legendary Samira Said, ‘Ott w Far’. For more exclusives from the music industry, follow our hashtag #WaraElMazzika.
How did ‘Ott w Far’ come to life?
‘Ott w Far’ came to life after a few listening and introductory sessions that happened between me and Samira. We were introduced through mutual friends. I was lucky enough that she was a fan of my music. I’ve always been a fan of hers even before I learned Arabic. After the sessions we decided that we should be working together pretty soon.
A couple of months later, approximately 18 months ago, she was sent the song as a demo on a guitar, written by Abd El Hamed El Habbak, and composed by Ehab Abd El Wahed, and it was already titled ‘Ott w Far’. She sent the song and asked me what do I think about it. The lyrics were very daring, but Samira is known for those kind of lyrics.
I told her that indeed it is outside the box, but it’s in line with what you have been doing for years. The strong independent woman motto, the one that doesn’t take a cheater. I said the song sounds beautiful, however, there is a slight contradiction here between that the lyrics are very theatrical but the melody is kinda dancey.
I asked her to leave it with me for a few days, and after this I came up with a mish-mash of genres that you’ve heard, that portrayed the lyrics but at the same time reflect on the melody and make it fun.
I was lucky enough that she enjoyed the crazy musical fusion that I’ve done from the first time she listened to it. We went ahead and started recording the instruments and later on she sang. I was lucky that the song was very smooth.
What’s the feedback that you received on it so far?
The feedback of the song has been humbling. It was widely positive. There was a ratio of people who thought that it was too crazy. People have enjoyed the music production and I feel very humbled about that. It was covered across various elements of media and the audience really enjoyed hearing Samira in this new pallet of sound.
Will it be a single or are you planning to do an album with Samira Said?
The music business at the moment is going through a huge change. This could be because of the wide leak of Arabic music on the internet and the inability to control it unlike in the western market. And it could also be due to what the coronavirus has done to people, limiting live performances. As a result, I’m not sure if Samira would want to release an album in the near future, or if she’ll continue to release singles over a set period of time, maybe every 8 or 12 weeks.
I’m not entirely sure what she and her business team will decide. What I can tell you is that it’s not my last collaboration with her. And I’m feeling very blessed about that. We do have a couple more songs in the pipeline, some in the Moroccan dialect and some in the Egyptian dialect. But I’m not sure whether it’ll be a part of an album or just as singles.
Talk to us about working with Pink Floyd’s Guy Pratt.
First of all, anyone who has a chance to work with a gentleman with such talent or caliber should feel very honored. The fact that you’d work with a human being who’s a member of Pink Floyd, someone who wrote so many number one hits, would strike you in a way that you can’t possibly imagine.
He’s one of the most amazing and down to earth human beings I’ve the honor to share a studio with. It was song for someone with an incredible talent and voice, the iconic Amal Maher. The song was initially was done by the composer Khaled Ezz as a demo that was like a deep house song. Her label asked me to do a demo for the song with my suggested genre. After I did it by myself without any instruments, they were over the moon with it.
They asked who do you think would be best person to play the guitar of this song. I suggested Guy Pratt even though I haven’t known him yet. I was lucky enough that I and Guy had a mutual friend and he put me in touch with Guy, and he was an incredibly cool and down to earth human being.
He said send me the song, if I like it I’ll play it, if I didn’t you’ll hear from me. I sent him the demo, and 20 minutes later he told me that I absolutely love the groove. Let’s book a session and get it played. We played guitar, bass, went out for lunch, and it was one of the most humbling opportunities. An incredible guy to know and work with.
What are your future plans?
We have a few beautiful things on our plate that would come out in 2020 and the first part of 2021. First, we started the official workshop behind Hossam Habib’s new album. He’s ready to get back in business and get back to the music industry. The time we worked together on the previous album was one of the most fulfilling for any music producer, so this is something I’m really looking forward to. We have Sherine’s upcoming album that we’d be working on some things with her. There are also Samira Said’s upcoming releases; that should be very exciting.