FILE - Islam Chipsy
CAIRO - 5 May 2019: Music distributor Islam Chipsy is preparing to make his way to Europe to add his musical touch to the opening of Kunsten Festival Des Arts' 24th edition, hosted by the Belgian capital Brussels on May 10.
Islam Said, known as Islam Chipsy, is a member of the Egyptian electronic music group Dabke, whose style combines traditional Arabic wedding and electronic instruments. Their style is seen as part of a new wave of shaabi music, referred to as electro shaabi or mahraganat.
Chipsy plays the keyboard alongside two other band members, both drummers. Chipsy has been referred to as a "preternaturally talented keyboard player", with a unique style consisting of blasts of tone clusters deployed by alternately punching, slapping and karate-chopping his keyboard.
Said adopted the stage name “Chipsy” when another keyboardist with the same name began to take credit for his tracks. Supposedly, since he was frequently seen eating Chipsy, people started to refer to him by the name and it stuck.
He has become more prominent in Western media along with other Electro shaabi artists such as Sadat, Figo and Alaa Fifty Cent, all coming from “100 COPIES” label in Cairo, with which Chipsy signed an open contract in 2014.
The music distributor does not want to be associated with the mahraganat movement, as it is very much based on MCs, and his genre is generally instrumental. His success has been propelled by the development of the shabbi selection and deviates from its main patterns.
In Western countries, he has been aided by the spread and circulation of Middle Eastern music online.
Said collaborates with Dubstep producers from the United Kingdom, such as Faze Miyake, Kode 9, Pinch, Mumdance and Artwork, as part of working with the British Council.
Kunsten Festival Des Arts is an international arts festival dedicated to contemporary theatre, performance and dance. It occasionally also opens itself to film and visual arts. The festival explores hybrid and unconventional forms of art.
Kunsten Festival Des Arts takes place every year in May and lasts for three weeks. It shows works in more than 20 different cultural centres as well as in public spaces. The festival is nomadic, takes place in collaboration with many diverse partners and comes as the result of a continuous dialogue. Together, they create and share remarkable artistic projects with audiences that are willing to be challenged and to broaden their perspectives.
The festival takes place in Brussels which is a complex network of diverse communities. Engaging with the city’s inhabitants, the festival serves as a way to rethink the geography of the capital of Belgium and Europe, increasing the porosity of its territorial, linguistic and cultural divisions. The festival encourages debate, in-depth conversations and cathartic conflicts.
Kunsten Festival Des Arts also hosts a Free School, dedicated to the sharing of artistic practices, knowledge and reflections. This school addresses a crucial question: if we were to invent a school today, what would its curriculum be, and who would it be for? All the school activities are free of charge and aim to accommodate a multiplicity of possible participants.