Amir Aid Talks ‘RIVO’, Acting and The Rolling Stones – Billboard

It’s been an action-packed year for Amir Aid, the lead singer of groundbreaking Arabic rock-pop group Cairokee, who has just released several tracks from his debut solo album, which was released alongside season two of the hit show, RIVER. Created by Mohamed Nayer and directed by Yahya Ismail, the show premiered on Watch It, starring Amir Eid as Shadi, the lead member of a fictional indie band shrouded in mystery.

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Similar to Cairokee’s path to success, and especially that of lead singer Amir Eid, RIVER chronicles the difficult journey of a band determined to change the musical landscape in which it exists. We hear it all wrapped up RIVERbrilliant soundtrack. Meanwhile, deep nostalgia for the glory days of the 90s is perhaps another factor behind RIVERmass circulation.

Amir says the idea of RIVER started with his friend, screenwriter Mohammed Nayer, who kept trying to sell him the image of Shadi for years. For the singer of Cairokee, the decision to embark on this new experience was not an easy choice.

“[Mohamed] he would always say, ‘You’re going to play the role of Shadi,’ and I’d say, ‘My son, I don’t want to act,'” explains Amir. But seven years of preparation seems to have been enough for Amir to change his mind. “I happened to meet Nair and he said you should read this script,” he recalls. “I read the script and I loved it because it had a band and music and ’90s and playing, so to be honest, I fell in love with the role and wanted to do it.”

Musically, Amir manages to once again deliver a set of songs that showcase his resonant ability to blend alternative rock and pop with his own unique songwriting style – in this case, songs that are at the core of Shady’s life and career as well. of Amir. Four songs were enough to leave the audience with a sonic signature from the show, as heard on “Tayer” (“Flying”), where the mood is immediately set with the help of a wailing guitar line and a delicate drum pattern that gives way to Eid’s vocals.

Later on “Wahshteny” (“I Miss You”), Amir’s pop sensibilities and musical storytelling come through with upbeat production juxtaposed with lyrics about premature love. “Lw Kan” (“If Only”), a collaboration with producer Sary Hany, offers the fullest sound, while in “Metkatef” (“Tied Up”), the keys and trumpet-driven track deliver a melancholy tempered by a rich toolkit. In the song, we hear Amir at his most controlled vocal delivery, set within the tragic closing scene of RIVERseries finale.

The show weaves music into its narrative to convey meaningful messages and spark conversations about mental health. Within its script, the series brings attention to issues like depression, a dialogue that Aamir aims to resonate deeply with the audience.

Amir says his approach to creating music content is about RIVER is a complete departure from his usual songwriting process for Cairokee – in this case, largely a solo process, but also conceived for a completely different time period. The songs he writes about RIVER are based on a scenario set in the 1990s, while his songs for his band Cairokee were born from pure imagination.

“The first thing I do is read the script really well,” he says. “Then I put it aside and go about my life as normal because we’re touring and doing a lot of gigs, so I’m thinking, ‘What would Shady do in this situation?’ If he had to sing, how would he sing? If he had to write, how would he write?’ RIVER.”

Looking back, a blend of Western rock and Egyptian folk music was etched into Amir’s childhood and teenage memories—a synthesis that would eventually shape his own music to a large extent. When looking back on this period of his life, Amir, a big Rolling Stones fan, often remembers his older brother who loved the Beatles. To justify his own preference, Amir says he liked the rebellious nature and distinctive appearance of the Stones.

“I would love for Cairokee to continue playing when the members are in their 60s or 70s, touring and writing songs and living that life, whatever their age. It goes beyond just looks and fashion sense – it’s the eternally youthful attitude that I admire most about the Stones.”

Since their debut self-titled album in 2009, the group has released eight albums with songs that continue to chart on the recently launched Billboard Arabia Hot 100 chart. Amir also landed a spot on Billboard Arabia’s Top 100 Artists with his solo work, while closing out the year with two epic performances with Cairokee: MDLBEAST’s Soundstorm in Riyadh, followed by their show at the El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt.

Through Amir’s musical journey, the timeless essence of rock and the resonance of his songwriting continue to permeate his tunes. Whether it’s his solo work or the rich portfolio he’s built with Cairokee, Amir retains his ability to create music that speaks to the human experience, with songs that help shape the new sound of Arab pop.

This article is a translation of material that was originally published on Billboard Arabia.

Amir Eid

Abdullah ElMaz/Billboard Arabia

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