Sherif Galal: Changing The Music Scene in MENA

Photo credits: Ahmed Najeeb

 I could probably name music artists until the end of time, but when it comes to the music producers I could barely fill until the end of this sentence, erm, well, I don’t have much luck.

Despite this low-key profile, producers have a huge role in overseeing the creation of music and helping artists get the most out of their recording. This can involve helping select songs, coaching musicians and directing backing vocalists as well as practical arrangements such as booking rehearsal time.

Sherif Galal is a music producer, sound engineer, and music tutor at the GUC. Sherif owns a music studio in Heliopolis and he has worked with a wide variety of bands in the MENA.

Having graduated from The Faculty of Law at Ain Shams University, Sherif clarified that his musical career started in his bedroom, trying to write and play songs and working with whoever he could, like many other people before him.

He then tried to pursue his dream as a musician after finishing school, all while receiving a genuine support from people around him, especially his mother. He went to various studios around town to work on his records and was very keen on going far than his expectations.

Alas, Sherif suffered an accident back in 2012 which made him not able to play the guitar with his left hand, and the future seemed then very bleak for his career. “Doctors told me that I’m not going to be able to play again. I felt hopeless,” Sherif stated. “After a long recuperation period that lasted for a year and a half, it was a miracle that I was able to go back to playing music.” He tried looking for corporate jobs during this period, but he couldn’t because he realized that his passion for music is infinite and couldn’t have leaned towards something else.

When I asked him to mention some of the bands that he has worked with, boy, I was taken aback by how versatile and malleable the list is. He has worked with some very popular bands in Egypt and the region like Massar Egbari, West El Balad, Black Theama, Cairokee, and Jadal. What’s also cool is that they travel and meet each other everywhere.

But what are the plans Sherif set for himself in the near prospect? He is dreaming of establishing a villa studio with a huge pool and a vast garden so that the artists he works with can spend a quality time there while recording their albums. “Maybe I will be making so much money in the future to the point I can earn 50 million pounds and build this!” Sherif chuckled.

The musician also revealed the reason he is sidestepping a record label and making his way through the industry on his own. He voiced his disapproval about how record labels turn artists into “indentured servitude,” since the artists have little control or insight over how labels take their music and profit off it online. “I don’t want other people intervening in my craft. If your music is really good then the audience will hear it out. I would tell any young artist to just not sign.” Sherif insinuated.

Sherif Galal has come a very long journey to be this big and famous of a producer, facing severe mishaps along the way, but rising even stronger and better. So, if you’ve always dreamed of breaking into music production, trusting in yourself and making music your passion are definitely what matter the most.

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