July-September 2019

Nadah El Shazly

A singer and composer living and working in Cairo. She released her critically acclaimed debut album AHWAR in Nov 2017. Backing up her release with extensive worldwide touring through a solo set and a four-piece band, El Shazly has been featured in local and international festivals including Le Guess Who?, CTM Festival, REWIRE, Best Kept Secret, Supersonic and many more. She continues to compose for film and visual art.

Starting out singing Misfits covers in a local punk band, Cairo’s Nadah el Shazly has since been making a name for herself in the city’s underground scene by producing her own electronic tracks. Her debut album, Ahwar (2017), emerged via Nawa Recordings, a label run by Khyam Allami that focuses on Middle Eastern artists. Ahwar was produced together with Maurice Louca and Sam Shalabi (of The Dwarfs of East Agouza), and takes its name from the Arabic word for “marshlands.”

On her debut, El Shazly’s vocals are daring yet soft, expertly executed from start to finish. Her lyrics are poetic and vivid, forming images through phrases such as “I drown in a sea of saliva of lunatics.” Alongside five original tracks is a cover of Sayyid Darwish’s “Ana ‘Ishiqt (I Once Loved).” The album was produced between Canada and Egypt.

Nadah el Shazly is supported by the Goethe-Institut Cairo.


Nusasonic is a multi-year project that plunges into a broad spectrum of experimental sound and music cultures in Southeast Asia, enabling dialogue within the region, with Europe, and beyond. Adopting a multi-perspective approach, the project is collaboratively created by Yes No Klub (Yogyakarta), WSK Festival of the Recently Possible (Manila), Playfreely/BlackKaji (Singapore), and CTM Festival for Adventurous Music & Art (Berlin). As part of the multi-year project Nusasonic, which aims to strengthen the networks of contemporary experimental sound and music cultures in Southeast Asia, Europe and beyond, Cairo-based Nadah El Shazly take part in a residency program in Yogyakarta.

Nusasonic artists-in-residence, Berlin-based Jessica Ekomane and Cairo’s Nadah el Shazly, will share their works and practices and discuss the topics and interests that they want to explore during the residency. Nadah would like to write new music based on fieldwork recordings done in Indonesia. Intrigued by the independent movement and ethics of art collectives in Yogyakarta, she also plans to exchange with local artists to pursue her art collective movement in Cairo.

Nusasonic – Crossing Aural Geographies: an initiative of Goethe-Institut Southeast Asia, collaboratively created between Yes No Klub, CTM Festival for Adventurous Music and Art, WSK Festival of the Recently Possible, Playfreely/BlackKaji. The residency program in Ethnictro July to September 2019. A concert and workshop will also accompany the residency.

Photo copyright: Frank Schmitt.

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