Dubbed Happy Voice, Egyptian singer-songwriter Sarah El Gohary recently signed to Universal Music MENA, before releasing a new single, ‘High’, with an accompanying video that highlights music’s ability to unite people from all walks of life, cultures and languages.
Here, the Abu Dhabi-based performer discusses her brand of fusion music and how she landed her record deal.
How did you earn the nickname Happy Voice?
What a beautiful title. It not only reflects my music but also reflects me. I like to think of myself as a happy person, always highlighting the good in people and things, makes life worth living. As my fan base started growing, more and more people started messaging me that they feel joy every time they listen to my music or see my posts and stories.
Your music is a fusion of different elements borrowed from diverse genres. How do you make that work and still manage to incorporate Egyptian music into the mix?
When it comes to blending genres and elements, collaboration is key. Joining forces with musicians and music producers is key to keep your music fresh and up-to-date. Each person brings his or her own original sound and experience to a piece of music. It is more like a music brainstorming session. I feel excited every time I work on a new song because it allows me to go through this creative music-making process.
Can you tell us more about ‘High’?
‘High’ was originally named ‘Hi’. This song was produced and released independently over four years ago. But after meeting with Pakistani music producer, Talal Qureshi, we decided to reproduce it and it turned out beautiful. We turned it into an electronic dance hit with a touch of ethnic.
What’s the story behind the song?
Surprisingly, the lyrics have nothing to do with the concept of the music video. I wrote and composed ‘High’ over six years ago when I bumped into my ex-partner at a café. We’d broken up three years ago before that encounter. I was so happy to see him because we were in love and I really value human relations. So, I went over to simply say ‘hi’. Little did I know that he would take it negatively. In reality, I just really wanted to say hello and make sure he is well and living a happy life. I was long over him.
How did you end up signing with Universal Music MENA?
The power of social media! When I was shooting ‘High’ I posted on a Facebook group called Musicians of the UAE, asking how I can find support for my upcoming new video. I received an answer from Sky Sommers, who is the owner of Boom Box Entertainment and she connected me with Universal. When I met with Rania Hamadeh, the VP of marketing and communications, we connected instantly. She is a huge fan of underground and independent music, hence her support. And when I met the CEO, Patrick Boulos, and the rest of the team, I felt like I was welcomed into a new family who appreciates my music and wants to help me achieve my dreams.