We Sat Down with Yousra and Abu to Talk About How ‘Talat Da’at’ Came to Be, and It Was Magical
We sat down with the musical duo of the hour, and every hour: Yousra and Abu. After their hit song, Talat Da’at, debuted at El Gouna Film Festival and spread like wildfire, the music video soon followed and the world as we know it ceased to exist.
The music video managed to garner nine million views on Abu’s Facebook page. Not only that, the video for Talat Da’at also topped YouTube with six million views, making it the most trending video in the region.
Everyone has been obsessing over the song ever since it came out, mainly because of the happy vibes it emits upon people. Talat Da’at is already being used in weddings, events and literally every happy place that has speakers.
Did you expect the extraordinary success of Talat Da’at?
Yousra: Never. I honestly made zero calculations with the song. All I knew was that I liked its melody and lyrics, and that was enough.
If you can choose a movie to have Talat Da’at as its theme song, what would it be?
Abu: Well, that’s a tough one. But I’d say, Mamma Mia, because of the sea, Greece, the setting, everything!
What if you had to choose one of Yousra’s movies?
Both: Dantella (laughs)!
Will we ever have the pleasure to see both of you perform Talat Da’at live?
Yousra: I don’t know, I personally haven’t thought about it. But, I believe what is currently happening to Talat Da’at is beyond any of our expectations. Be it the viewership or the song being the number one trend on all social media platforms. What I’m basically trying to say is that you can’t predict anything. Regarding the live performance, I’m not sure how we can build it over just one song.
What was your background before the hit song came to be, and did you study music?
Abu: I graduated from the American University in Cairo (AUC), with a Business major and concentrations in Finance and minored in Economics. I started my private business and it was fortunately successful, then I sold it to an investor. I then started working as a Brand Manager at Procter and Gamble for seven years. Finally, I decided to quit because of my love towards songwriting and composing music. And no, I never studied music.
How did you convince that endless flock of superstars to participate in your music video?
Abu: Simple. Yousra is in the project! Anyone would love to participate in anything with the legendary artist! It was very casual and spontaneous, and everything just happened.
Yousra: All of us are friends, and every single one of us loved the song. We were all very happy, and just had good energy the entire time — which is why the song feels exactly like that.
Will we see any more projects between the region’s favorite musical duo?
Abu: Ya rab!
Youssra: Yes, insha’llah.
What will Abu’s next big thing be?
Abu: No one plans big things, we never thought this project will become what it is now.
Yousra: None of us plan our success. You just do your best without overthinking.
How did the project come to life?
Abu: It all started in Gouna when I had a performance in Aurora. Tamer Habib was there, we sat down for a little chat after the performance as he’s one of my friends. Our chat led me to bring up a song that I had only finished its first verse and its melody, that was about a guy who met a girl, loved her and forgot about all his worries, but didn’t know where to take the story from there. We agreed to continue the story together. The following day we worked for four hours after breakfast, and we actually finished it.
I came back to Cairo, recorded the tune and reached out for Yousra to ask her if she’d like to be my duo in the song — never in a million years did I think she would say yes! Through a common friend, I was able to send Talat Da’at to her. She listened to it, liked it, responded back, and we met on the same day and finished recording it. It was honestly beautiful!
Yousra: When I listened to it, I knew that I must be part of it, I must sing this song!
Of all the comments you received about the music video, what was your favorite?
ِAbu: I love that people dubbed the song as “The Icon of Joy.”
Yousra: If you’re upset or not in the mood, just play the song. It’s guaranteed to lift your spirits!
Who was the actor that people thought was your husband in the music video?
Yousra: He is Malek, the son of renowned director Mostafa El-Akkad. He has worked on big movies like El Resala. When we were on set, Abu, Maha Abu Ouf, myself and literally everyone I know wanted my husband to participate in the video, but he sadly did not. Malek then came, did his input. It was nice, especially that he was shy at first.
WE SAID THIS: The Photo Shoot: Carousel Production. Fashion Director: Gehad Abdalla. Fashion Coordinator: Omar Fadda. Photographer: Batool Al Daawi. Gaffers: Kamal Tarek, Mohamed Safwat. MUA: Sherif Helaly. Hair Stylist: Taha Abd El Wahab. Wardrobe: Maison 69 Store, Kojak Studio, Baraka Optics. Jewellery: Dima Jewellery. Locations: La Maison Bleue, El Gouna.