Writer/Interviewer: Maram Mohammed
Editor: Abdullah Sobhi
Enter Muhammad Saeed: a 25 y/o engineer, producer, writer, and performer who never stops crafting his personal experiences into the meaningful lyrics of what you hear today and who aspires to collaborate with artists like Billie Eillish and Khalid. As much as it was almost impossible spreading his music and lyrics when originating from and living in a rural area in Tanta away from the buzzing cities of Egypt, especially considering the new genre of music he was introducing, Muhammad Saeed’s determination and hard work has inevitably paid off, and not only did he manage to reach millions of views on his YouTube channel, but he also became popular enough to be stopped by passerby’s for pictures.
Muhammed started off as a music producer. It was only back in 2018 when he decided to kickstart his Youtube channel, as he was inspired by the plethora of music producers that made it through this platform. He uploaded his track “Before”, which he admits was a very peculiar mix. His determination was short-lived though, as he later neglected his Youtube channel, thinking that it wasn’t doing much, and shifted his focus to SoundCloud.
He continued to post his tracks on both platforms, but he didn’t necessarily care to check what his Youtube statistics were doing. That all changed when he suddenly received an email notifying him that he reached 10K subscribers on Youtube, and he was baffled—to say the least. Ever since then, he started working more on his Youtube channel once more and was able to build a name for himself on the platform.
Singing was introduced later in his journey, however. The idea of becoming a singer never really crossed his mind, as he had already somehow made it as a producer. At some point in his musical production career, he started feeling like he was being left behind, and that his work was somehow left unappreciated. He didn’t have a fanbase to support him as a person and producer. Even though he tried his best to build a fanbase, all his attempts were in vain.
He made his pivotal decision of creating and publishing a track sung by him, “Gowaky”, which he intentionally made quite different from his other tracks. “Gowaky” was his ultimate peak, as people started reacting positively and recognizing his music more than ever.
The genre Muhammed puts out to the people, R&P, is unknown and rare here in Egypt; putting into consideration that he is based in Tanta, he faced plenty of obstacles. Your main audience usually originate from your closest surroundings, and unfortunately for Muhammed, audience weren’t as accepting of his music as he hoped they would be. He was aware that people are afraid from change, but he was certain that will never stop him from pursuing his passion.
I felt that I’ll never succeed if my initiative was always the opinions of others. I chose to solely pursue what I love. I’ll surely consider your tastes and your opinions to try and improve myself, but if it’s about choosing between your opinion and what I choose to do, I’ll choose what I love and what I want.Muhammed Saeed
Muhammed faced a lot of criticism, and still does, throughout his journey. He received a lot of constructive criticism that helped him grow, but there was also the destructive criticism that made him question if he ever hurt the person. His journey with criticism started with those around him, some of which were harsher than he expected, and as his circle and audience expanded, people would criticize him just because they felt like it.
One thing he is grateful for, though, is the sudden outburst of approval for Underground Arabic received in the past year. It gave him a wider spectrum and a profound sense of freedom to create and structure his music the way he wanted, whilst still striking a liking to some music tastes.
All of Muhammed’s music reflect a personal experience, some more painful than others. His lyrics originate from deep within; they’re not just words he unscrambles and puts together to make a song. In fact, he mentioned that “Law” was the most painful yet, and it also turned out to be the most successful. He is keen to keep the same pace with all his upcoming music.
One of the most memorable concerts and most meaningful to Muhammed was one he performed in Alexandria. The arena fit about 70 people max, and the place was so quiet and comfortable that he really felt at home. He was able to feel his music, as he sang quietly, and everyone followed suit. The concert lasted for 2 full hours—two hours of pure bliss for him and the audience combined.
A huge aspect of anyone’s life is family: their support and approval are beyond essential to most. For Muhammed, his parents weren’t as supportive in the beginning. They were worried about his studies, and the future of the industry he is keen to be involved in. His parents were able to come around later though, after they realized that he is getting somewhere. He never blamed them though, because he believes that it is their right to worry about the future of their child and that the age gap between his parents and him is no one’s fault.
He also believes that parents generally don’t mean to shatter their children’s dreams and send their fantasies away to the road of no return; in fact, he believes that they have their excuse.
“When you’re carrying the responsibility of raising a child, the first thing that comes to mind is, “I don’t want you to fail; I don’t want you to live a tiring life; I only want the best for you.” The gap is still there, since at some point, they, too, want to see you as a better version of themselves, they’re not as open-minded as we are. However, when you grow up and have kids yourself, you’ll get the same fear and you’ll try to stop your children from taking risks that you’re not certain whether they will be in their favor or not, even if we were trained to think more openly than they did,” he says
I sneakily asked Muhammed about his current and upcoming plans, and he is coming out with a new track titled “Beni W Benek” very soon! He added that it will be something new and different for all of us to enjoy. There is also an upcoming concert on the 19th of December here in Cairo in El Sawy Culture Wheel, where he will bliss us with his music; and soon enough, he will be touring Egypt as a whole!
Because our MilkywayXCreators series is mainly directed to encourage up-and-coming talented creators, I couldn’t help but ask Muhammed what he would advise talented people to do. His response was inspiring to say the least.
“Just keep doing whatever you’re doing. Even if at some point you felt like you’re taking a great risk, don’t stop and continue chasing your dreams as long as you believe in yourself, even if you felt that the whole thing might not work out, you never know and you’re never certain, just keep moving on and eventually you will know. It’s either that you live like a zombie, or you fulfill your passions and live your dreams and do what you spent your whole life fantasizing about.” He said
It’s either that you live like a zombie, or you fulfill your passions and live your dreams and do what you spent your whole life fantasizing about.Muhammed Saeed
The term “living like a zombie” is a more than enough initiative to start working on pursuing the things you love right now. Ask yourself the following questions: Do you want to become a zombie, as in doing what everyone else is doing, the same boring routine that you’ll follow, as well as your son and your grandson? Is that the vision you have always built for yourself ever since you were a kid? If your answer is no, then have no doubt that you will attain your goal only if you start working from this second, just like our talented musician Muhammed did.