Whether he realizes it or not, Amir Eid has definitely become a role model for Egyptian youth. Without pushing, without giving out lessons, but through his art alone, he shows them how to fight for the causes in which they believe, how to never give up and to make sure that their dreams come true, he shows them how important it is to respect women, and to always, always advocate for tolerance.

Amir Eid is the multitalented frontman of Egyptian rock band Cairokee. Founded in 2003, the band’s line-up originally included guitarist Sherif El-Hawary, drummer Tamer Hashem, bassist Adam El-Alfy, with keyboard player Sherif Mostafa joining in 2008. The 2011 Egyptian revolution was their absolute time to shine, with the release of their hit single “Sowt El-Horreya” that became the youth’s anthem, followed by “Ya El-Midan”, featuring singer Aida El Ayoubi. The band has already released several studio albums including Matloob Zaeem (2011), El-Sekka Shemal (2014), Nas w Nas (2015), The Ugly Ducklings (2019) and Classics, Vol. 1 (2021).

Curious about all form of arts, always eager to learn, experiment and discover new territories, while taking interdisciplinary arts to another level, Eid is a pure perfectionist, who doesn’t really care about his image, he only wants to focus on his art, in Egypt, where Cairokee’s songs are now on everyone’s lips, and in Europe, where the band has performed live in Paris, London and Berlin. This is what matters to Amir Eid: being on stage, anywhere, everywhere, in a perfect symbiosis with Cairokee’s fans.

And here, he answers Pulse’s questions.

How did you end up being a musician?

Hawary, our lead guitarist, and I were always listening to music together and then one day we decided to form a band. The rest is history.

What would we have found on your iPod when you were a teenager?

Metallica, Guns N Roses, Pink Floyd, The Doors…Also Adawiya, Um Kulthum…

What were the first songs you covered alone, in front of your mirror?

“Wish You Were Here”, by Pink Floyd

How would you describe the process of creating a Cairokee song?

Every song is different, there is no process, it comes from the subconscious, there are also many factors, luck, patience, effort and inspiration…

Who would be the five Arab musicians (composers, lyricists, singers), dead or alive, that you’d like to invite to a private dinner party at your house, and why?

Riad Al Sonbati, Um Kulthum, Souad Hosny, Bayram Al Tounsi and Sayed Darwish because they are all interesting and talented artists.

Will “Sowt El Horreya” always be one of your favorites, and why?

I don’t have a favorite song, it changes every day… But “Sowt El Horreya” came from my heart and the words came out easily and naturally.

Is Egypt still Um el Dounia” when it comes to arts and culture? Are the Egyptians still hungry for music, movies, books, etc? And what about the younger generations? How would you describe Cairokee’s impact on them?

Yeah, I’m happy that I belong to this country. Lately there has been a boom in the variety of genres of music, between Mahraganat, Rap, Trap and a lot of different bands. That’s really cool and will have great results in the future. About Cairokee’s impact, I’m very happy that we add something to the art scene and that there are a lot of people believing in us.

How hard is it to build bridges, through your art, between the Arab and Western worlds?

I think the Westerners don’t see us, the Middle East, as partners in art, they mainly see us as something exotic from third world countries and, honestly, I don’t care. All I care about is to enjoy myself while making music.

What are the strengths and the weaknesses of the Arab rock scene?

I can’t speak much about the Arab rock scene from other people’s viewpoint. Cairokee, in our latest albums, is playing different genres. But I’m a big fan of rock music. Its weakness is it’s hard to evolve. Its strength is that it’s still magical to hear a guitar.

What is your favorite Arabic song, one that is often stuck on repeat in your playlist?

“Elatlal”, by Um Kulthum, and lately an old song by Luka, “Hashrab Hasheesh”.

What does cinema mean to you? How would you describe your experience as an actor in “When We are Born”?

I love cinema as a form of art and I love watching movies. I loved the experience, especially the music part of it and the songs, but I wasn’t good at acting.  It’s hard, I need more practice and this is what I did afterwards. I’ve got another project soon.

How would you describe your relationship with fashion? Is “Show me how you dress and I’ll tell you who you are” accurate in your opinion?

I also see fashion as a form of art, and I love the self expressing part. I also love simple things, I like to be neat…  I always wear black, but I don’t think it represents who I am, or maybe it does, I don’t know.