6Qs with DJs Aly and Fila – Future Sound of Egypt //
When asked to describe the sound of Aly and Fila in three words, Fila quickly replies: melodic, driving and banging. Aly and Fila’s Future Sound of Egypt, started as radio show and is now a growing music label bringing new DJs and producers into the same international limelight they have enjoyed.
He tells FEN, people like their music because it is a new and unexpected take on an old sound. And apparently from an unexpected place too: “Egypt is not what people think of when they hear our music.” He shakes his head. “A lot of people never believe us when we tell them we’re from Egypt.” He laughs. “Even Egyptians don’t know we’re Egyptian.”
Can’t leave home without: Laptop
Movie: Lord of the Rings
Retirement Home: Sydney, Australia
1. What made the difference between your success and other artists trying to do the same thing in the Middle East?
Maybe we’ve been lucky? We just did what we believe in–producing our own tracks in a really professional way. We also got a lot of support from DJ Armin Van Buuren. We started doing shows with him and he was always promoting our stuff on his radio show.
We couldn’t have asked for better exposure. That’s the luck part–when you get someone that big who loves your style. You have to work hard, but sometimes luck is needed. On the other hand, if we weren’t good he wouldn’t have supported us.
2. What is your advice to younger producers?
My advice to any DJ/producer is to concentrate on the quality of their production, then they can start to make a name for themselves. Once you’ve made a name for yourself, you can tour with it.
3. How did you overcome that unspoken pressure to pursue a “traditional” career?
You know how it is in Egypt, they just want to keep turning out lawyers, doctors and engineers. It’s unfair to be honest. ‘Art is just for dreamers,’ they say. We were lucky because our parents were open to us pursuing our art.
At the beginning they let me, thinking, ‘it’s just a hobby, let him do what he wants, then he will see he can’t live off of this.’ This was my challenge, and I proved them wrong.
Now they understand what I’m doing and they’re very proud.
They even have other parents who’s kids are interested in pursuing music, asking them for advice.
4. What is your production process like?
We each work in our separate studios, then we usually gather at my studio to finalize our pieces. So we come in with two different visions and mix the two together. Sometimes our production can be as fast as a few days to as slow as three months.
5. Where was the best crowd you ever played for?
Buenos Aires-Rosario, Argentina. The people love the music so much. They’re there just for the music. In other places, people go to a club just to go out, but in Argentina, you feel the passion from the people and it’s a beautiful place.
6. How would you sum up your journey as an artist?
We were just two 15-year olds doing what we love. We used to dream of playing big parties, big stages. And now, every place I had ever said ‘I want to play there’ about, I’ve played. I’m so happy to have achieved this. We were dreaming when we used to talk like that.
We used to joke about how big we would be, and then laugh at how stupid we were to be dreaming like that. Now we’re laughing because it actually did happen.