Egyptian singer Zahra Ramy releases first original ‘I Gave Up’

The 30 October 2020 concert will mark the official launch of Ramy’s band Mixer

Egyptian radio presenter, singer and actress Zahra Ramy released her first original single on YouTube on 2 October. 

Titled Battalt (I Gave Up), the music video features Ramy listing the things she decided to give up on. “I gave up on arguing; there is no point in arguing. I gave up on loving and not loving, I gave up on getting nervous about trivial things, I gave up on choosing my words…” sings Ramy to cheerful rhythmic music. 

The video begins with presentation of Ramy in sepia colours before moving to kaleidoscope effects featuring her in a collage of visual styles ranging from the 1970s to 1990s. The same is reflected in music, whereas the song ending is a fusion of modern beats and numerous influences from different cultures. 

“The song is my way of trying to overcome the problems. The year 2020 was really hard on all of us as individuals and as musicians. We all have our worries,” Ramy told Ahram Online.  

Singing to the lyrics of Ahmed Shalaby, she hopes that with ‘I Gave Up’ she can add positive energy to the challenges people are facing since the beginning of the year and the Covid-19 pandemic which for several months had suspended all cultural activities. “I have been singing for many years,” she said, referring especially to her work with Ayamna El-Helwa (Our Beautiful Days), a formation established by Mohamed Othman in 2003, the repertoire of which focuses on Arabic music. 

“I left Ayamna El-Helwa three years ago and was thinking of forming my own band,” she added, pointing to her new band Mixer, born a year ago. “We started jamming in the hope to launch in April but the pandemic stopped everything. We got anxious, worrying about what’s next. Undeniably, it was all very frustrating. However, despite the fact that 2020 was difficult, I wanted to do something different, something new.” 

Ramy explained that she wanted to put all her energy into ‘I Gave Up’ as well as into her music, which we are yet to hear at Mixer’s upcoming concert on 30 October at El Sawy Culturewheel, an event which will mark the official launch of the band. She revealed the concert will include three of her original compositions topped with new arrangements of known songs. 

With Ramy as leading vocals, Mixer’s line-up also includes Simo El-Fakharany on drums, Amr Arafa on percussion, Ahmed Kamar on keyboard, Mounir Maher on bass guitar, Zeyad Essam on guitar, Amir Samir on violin and Michael Fouad on kanoun. 

A graduate of the Faculty of Arts, English Department, Cairo University, Ramy landed her first job in broadcasting in 2010. Known mainly for hosting morning programmes for children, she began her broadcasting career at the Radio Hits 88.2, of which she was also a co-founder. She then moved to Nogoum FM before shifting to NRJ Egypt in 2020 where she hosts ‘Wake Up with NRJ’ segment between 7am and 10am. Apart of her career in broadcasting, Ramy is also a singer; she participated in numerous concerts, including those by Ayamna El-Helwa.

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