A new genre of music has come to surface known as “Mahraganat” songs – translated from the Arabic as “Festivals”, and their stars are Ramadan, Shakosh and Daboos.
Those songs have attracted hundreds of millions of viewers, especially the latest one “Bint al-Giran” (the girl next door), which suddenly sparked the ire of musicians’ syndicate, as its head veteran singer Hany Shaker decided to ban “Mahraganat” singers from performing at clubs, cafes, hotels, and concerts, adding that they will “not be able to obtain a license” to perform anywhere.
In a press release, the syndicate warned all nightclubs, tourist facilities, Nile boats, and cafes that any engagement with “mahraganat” performers will result in “legal action.”
Yet, I believe that no matter how much we try to prevent this phenomenon, we will not be able to prevent it from reaching its fans through all means that have become insurmountable and out of control!
We should not forget that we’re living now in the era of YouTube; what can be corrected and evaluated in the era of traditional mass media such as radio, television, press, and satellite TV channels, is no longer similar to the era of social media and electronic publishing.
The new audiences do not only offer their stars moral support to improve performance, but they support them financially as well to develop techniques in sound, image via opening their official channels on YouTube and subscribing to them with all love and satisfaction.
Before complaining that those popular songs have greatly corrupted the general public taste, and choosing the easiest solution, which is ”banning” on the pretext that the Egyptian society is facing a major catastrophe, we should first study this phenomenon.
Hence, I wonder: Where are the researchers and sociologists?
Have we studied why the taste of the largest segment of people has changed?
Has a comprehensive survey been made on their style, their words, their dances, and the contents they are promoting?
Have we tried to help and guide them to use proper words?
Have we studied the broad base of neo-fans, their behaviors, their culture, and their classes, and why are they gasping for this genre of music?
No matter how much we try to prevent these songs, they will be smuggled and spread among the people; “forbidden is always desirable”
But we have to know whether this type of song has become a boom or a new type in the world of music. What do people like about it? How can we refine it from bad words?
In my view point, banning is not the solution, but studying and trying to understand what is happening and developing these songs is the only way out of this crisis.