Who is Ousso?
Mohamed Lofty “Ousso” is an Egyptian musician born in 1978 in Cairo, Egypt. Being an independent artist/musician, Ousso has contributed a lot since the mid 1990’s towards the enrichment of the Egyptian music scene through taking leading and various roles as a guitarist, composer, producer, sound engineer, teacher and festival organizer. In addition to his valuable artistic contribution as the co-founder of the renowned music band “Nagham Masry” and a member and co-composer of Egypt’s top oriental Jazz band “Eftekasat”, he initiated the first underground music festival in Egypt the “SOS music festival”, through which he supported the emergence of several underground bands through providing a perfect ambiance for young bands including an equipped platform/space of performance as well as a wide range of audience with the purpose of enhancing their presence and encouraging their development.
As an individual artist and the founder of plenty of initiatives, Ousso has exerted tremendous and undeniable efforts over the past 16 years in establishing the main pillars of the music scene Egypt is witnessing at the moment. Ousso was not confined to one category of music; he contributed towards the development of both the underground as well as the mainstream scenes; bridging a big gap between both that resulted in the creation of a strong, successful and sustainable market. Ousso has served the scene not only as a performer, he has contributed a lot on the academic level as a coach, tutor and teacher, where he was invited by the AUC he taught Music Technology and Guitar from 2010 to 2012.
Childhood and early years/Education
Ousso’s passion for music started at a very early age, he was influenced by classical and oriental music the most and the reason is his grandmother. Later on at the age of 11, he discovered the world of electric guitars through listening to the sound of Slash’s solo in Mr. Brownstone. He kept digging to understand what the sound that blew him off was, and his obsession with guitars began as he found out about the existence of electric guitars.
The Guitar was not the first instrument that Ousso played, he started at the age of 7 playing keyboards at home and xylophone at school.
His first formation was at school that carved his live experience as he performed at the school’s graduation parties.
Later on and right after finishing high school, Ousso formed his first heavy metal band “Implosion” along with Hassan Shoukry, Sameh and Abdallah. The band covered and performed songs for Metallica and Megadeath.In parallel, Ousso sang and played the guitar with his other anonymous band that covered The Doors, The Beatles and other classic rock artists.
Before reaching the age of 18, Ousso has already discovered varied and diverse types of music including rock, jazz, flamenco..etc, through his bands and through his process of self-learning; a methodology that he adopted throughout his career afterwards.
Ousso was completely devastated in the mid 1996, when the satanic hoax struck the underground scene in Egypt as it has ill-reputed musicians and gave a very false and unfair image about Ousso’s passion. Amidst all this, a meeting with Nasser Fathy (Double Vision Studios owner and friend) has put Ousso on an entirely new and different track. Nasser Fathy pointed out to Ousso that he should seriously consider being a professional guitarist and hooked him up wth the band of Samira Saiid to play as a temporary replacement to Serif Moustafa; he went for a rehearsal and for a rehearsal and he much likely improvised all the songs, and the following day Ousso performed with Samira Said at the Adwa’ el Madina Festival.
This push by Nasser Fathy was the gateway to Ousso’s professional career. Luckly, Saiid’s band included well-established musicians like Dr. Mounir Nasr El Din, Yehia Ghanam, Diaa Tass and Ismail el Wahsh with whom Ousso has collaborated and from this point, many musicians in the business started talking about Ousso’s distinctive potential, and he made his breakthrough in the commercial scene and beyond to be one of Egypt’s renowned Guitarist.
Bridging the gap between the mainstream and the underground music scenes
Keen as he is on the development of the music scene as a whole as well as beholding a strong and unique vision, Ousso realized the importance of bridging the gap between the mainstream and underground scenes as the strongest factor that shall create a strong music scene. At that point in time, Ousso was the one and only musician to be working simultaneously in both scenes and successful at both. Towards this vision, Ousso established the 19thManagement Company along with the former manager of Amr Diab recruiting underground musicians to perform with mainstream artists. Ousso’s objective was to rearrange the songs performed by the mainstream artists in order to deliver mainstream songs in rather richer and mature manner in the artist’s live performances. He recruited competent underground musicians, as the main line-up of the mainstream artists, hereby creating professional opportunities for the underground musicians.
The Spanish endeavour in Berklee 2012/2013
Never surrendering to negativity and directed by strong leadership skills, Ousso decided in 2012 to follow a new path for self exploration; looking for new grounds for musical innovation and networking on an international level. As a result, Ousso took the difficult decision of moving from Egypt and enrolling in the first master course offered by Berklee college of music pursuing the degree in Contemporary studio performance at Berklee college of Music in Valencia, Spain.
In July 2013 he graduated and Got hired the same day to teach the summer program In Berklee Valencia, Giving workshops and teaching Guitar and Leading a Rock ensemble.
On the fringe of both festivals, Ousso held smaller festivals called Live Night in cooperation with May El Naggar. The concept of these nights was to embrace acoustic and electric performances, stand up comedies, as well as featuring short films all at one night.
The 19th Corporation now proceeds to provide quality entertainment with the highest standards by offering a diverse array of options through various entertainment events such as Ewsal bel3araby’s open jams, Marassi Sun Festival Vol 1 & 2 and Uptown Cairo’s Classic Cars and other Educational events through Ewsal Bela3arby’s onground activation program “El-Sellem”
Ewsal Bel3araby is the result of an idea inspired l to improve the music scene in Egypt. Ousso dreamt about properly introducing the true definition of Music, and teaching society about our musicians, the value they bring and how to properly appreciate them.
A complete music project, an online social network about music, for anyone who wishes to learn music, with the most famous musicians, in arabic and for free. It is the “Go To Place” for anything people wish to know about Music in Egypt. Information about individual artists and bands, their background stories, as well as all the venues that provide live music and all the festivals taking place around the country.
It is the only social network in Egypt that allows musicians to learn from one another, exchange expertise and gives them the chance to communicate easier and faster in order to further facilitate future diverse collaborations. But that’s not all of it. Ewsal Bel3araby offers the opportunity for all young talents in far off cities and provinces to learn music in person with the best and most famous musicians in Egypt through “El Sellem” (The Staircase) program. “El Sellem” is the main contribution of “Ewsal Bel3araby” for the real development of the Music Education in Egypt. We will offer the musically talented youth a real shot at their dreams and facilitate their access to the Egyptian Music Scene in the shortest and fastest ways and most importantly with the best musicians there is.
Ewsal Bel3araby is an extension of the success that the “SOS Music Festival” has brought. It will bring back the Live Events that brought us all together once more to the on-ground music circle in Egypt. Arists and talented youth will now have a complete on platform that support the fullfillemnt of their dreams with no restrictions; starting from where they learn and nurture their talent, to a place where they showcase their performances and inspire many more to follow in their paths.
Ewsal Bel3araby will bring music back to Life.