Rapper Zap Tharwat on social media and being the voice of the Egyptian youth
Zap Tharwat is one of the most prolific musicians on the Egyptian scene right now. From his rise to fame in 2011 during the Egyptian revolution, his songs have highlighted the different social issues faced by the youth.
Currently working on the show Sadeem, the digital series that's on the hunt for the biggest influencer in the Arab world.
"For me, working with Sadeem represented an invaluable opportunity to get acquainted with the world of online shows and to be part of a show that empowers and promotes content creators with new ideas that genuinely benefit the Arab youth," he said.
"The thing that I enjoyed the most was meeting other young men and women from across the Arab world. Generally speaking, It is what attracted me to the show in the first place."
But despite working on a show that's on the hunt for the next Arab influencer in the region, the Egyptian thinks of social media more as a career tool than as a life essential. If anything, he uses social media more as a way to spread his music.
"Of course social media plays an important role in both my personal and professional life. However, it is not the most important factor. Social media definitely played a huge role in spreading my music," he added.
Given Tharwat's rapid rise almost a decade ago, he prides himself on bridging the cultural gap between the old and new generation. Quite a big portion of young Egyptian men and women are familiar with rap and a lot of people are fans of his music.
But according to him, while the older generation still isn’t very keen on rap, some of his songs - such as “Nour”, “Fi El Sama”, and “Sohab” - were a hit among the older listeners.
"That’s because they were able to relate to the subject of the song and the music I’ve created. Everywhere you look, rap music is almost always aimed at younger crowds."
However, as season two of the show Sadeem, where Tharwat is one of the judges, wraps up, the music star is now looking towards his second album. His first album and what he calls the 'greatest achievement of his life', 'Al-Madina’ was produced by Sari Hani and released in 2018.
The rapper in the past has been open about his music recording process and told Esquire, "I always start with the idea. The idea must consume me and keep my mind occupied for quite some time. Then I proceed to study it thoroughly. I do some reading, I watch a film. Anything that can expand my knowledge around it and help me understand it more. After that I start thinking about how I can tackle this idea from my perspective and communicate it in my own way."
Some of the questions that run through his mind while writing his songs are "is it a story? Or a message from one person to another?Who is the narrator? Is it me or someone else?
"After that I arrange my ideas chronologically. Then I start writing. I rework my draft many times over. After I’m done with that, I go to the studio and work on the music with the composer," he added. "At the end, before recording, both the text and music would have undergone several modifications to make sure that everything truly reflects the general idea of the song."
But despite having almost 1.4 million follows on Instagram, Tharwat is not very attached to his phone.
"I sometimes forget about it for a day or two," he said. "But it’s the music itself that is the most critical factor to success. Social media is just a means to deliver my music to the public, not a goal in itself."