Cairokee: one Cairo band becomes a revolutionary discovery
When the rock band Cairokee agreed to perform last September in Mansoura, a conservative, agricultural city in the Nile Delta region, they expected to find few fans. Instead, they took to the stage to loud cheers from a packed audience.
"Everyone was singing along - I was so surprised," said Tamer Hashem, the band's drummer and manager. "They were there because they wanted to see us."
After seven years of performing in relative obscurity, the members of Cairokee still seem dazed with their new-found fame. Two weeks ago, the band released its latest song Ya, el Midan (Oh You, the Square), a touching duet about Egypt's awakening political consciousness. The duet, along with a three-track release, marks singer Aida Al Ayouba's return to music after retiring in the mid-1990s. Frontman Amir Eid's voice has a resonant, melancholy timbre, lacking in range but heaped with sincerity. His voice meshes with Al Ayouba's lilting, powerful refrains to create a stark, emotionally intense song.
In the first two days of its internet release, the song ranked number one on Facebook worldwide for downloads, number six on Twitter and number eight on YouTube; to date, it's been viewed more than half a million times on the video channel.