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Exclusive: Egyptian Artist Bayou Opens Up About His Brand New Song, ‘Bansa 7aly’

Kimono, Greg Lauren; trousers, Courrèges. Photo: Isaiah Vigil

R&B artist Bayou is adamant about transcending borders through his music. Hailing from Egypt and moving between the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, the musician is emblematic of a younger generation of Arabs who are merging the boundaries of culture to make music that feels right at home in our globalized age.

Drawing inspiration from Egyptian pop legends such as Mohamed Mounir and Amr Diab, along with contemporary R&B pioneers like Frank Ocean, The Weekend, and Partynextdoor, Bayou has developed a unique musical disposition. Having gained a massive following with songs such as ‘Egyptian Wifey’ to ‘Casablanca’, the young artist is well on his way to stardom. His upcoming single, ‘Bansa 7aly’, which is releasing on December 15 provides more than enough testimony to the talents that have gotten him this far. Swiftly switching between Arabic and English over a melancholic Amapiano-inspired beat, Bayou blends his own introspective journey with the challenges and choices of someone at the cusp of success.

Suit, Intellectual Athleticism; sweater, Hermès; boots, Dirk Bikkembergs; sunglasses, Akila. Photo: Isaiah Vigil

Below, discover more about this rising star and his latest song, and don’t miss his photo diary from New York, captured in the pages of Vogue Man Arabia Fall/Winter 2023.

What drew you to music in the first place?

I was drawn to music because it was an outlet to let out my overwhelming emotions. The emotions I had that couldn’t be said or written. I just wanted to make music that spoke for me and my reality at the time.

Suit, Intellectual Athleticism; sweater, Hermès. Photo: Isaiah Vigil

What role has your family played in your journey as a musician?

I don’t have any musicians in my family, but my father brought up the idea of fusing my multicultural perspectives in my music — an artistic choice that has been very influential in my music so far. I’m also grateful to my mom for exposing me to all the different art forms as a child, especially music.

How did your multicultural experiences affect your music?

Emotions are dressed differently within different communities. Having the opportunity to live in and amongst different cultures exposed me to how people uniquely voiced feelings like love, pain, happiness, and rage. Once I’d immerse myself in a culture for a while, it would rub off on me and trickle down into my art.

Top, Dior; pants, Louis Vuitton; necklace, bracelet, Her Children; boots, Grailed. Photo: Isaiah Vigil

Can you tell us a bit about ‘Bansa 7aly’?

‘Bansa 7aly’ is my next single. It was produced by Hady Moamer and Motif Alumni. Hady and I came up with melodies, and then Hady wrote the lyrics. The song was produced between Cairo, Sahel, and NYC. ‘Bansa 7aly’ went through many different stages, so I’m excited to share it.

What inspired this song in the first place?

‘Bansa 7aly’ is about the reality of coming out of solitude. These days, it’s easy to feel lonely. For artists, it’s more of a self-induced loneliness. We want to create something worthwhile, so at times, we disconnect from the world. Sometimes, I’m locked in for too long and begin to lose track of everything and everyone, including myself.

Deep solitude can either be liberating for me as I have the time and space to transcend into a better version of myself, or I can end up getting paranoid from overthinking.

Jacket, trousers, Nanushka; hat, Stetson. Photo: Isaiah Vigil

What dreams and aspirations do you have for the future?

My mission is to create the most authentic music that touches the hearts of as many people as possible. As an Egyptian, I want the Egyptian sound to cross borders and flood the world. As an R&B/Soul fan, I’d love to see R&B reimagined in my country. Inshallah, I can make both a reality.

Photo: Isaiah Vigil

Jacket, Diesel; bracelet, Chrome Hearts. Photo: Isaiah Vigil

Style: Gabriel Ruja
Creative director: Paolo Grilli Cicilioni
Executive producers: Gabriel Zimbler, Nour Koleilat
Style assistant: Katherine Fu
Location: Makas Barbership, Ella Funt, Cornerstone Studios  

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