CAIRO - 2 February 2021: Egyptian music composer Amir Hedayah wins Best Title Music at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards.
Hedayah has just been announced as one of the winners at the prestigious Hollywood Music in Media Awards (HMMA).
Amir Hedayah was nominated for Best Title Music in a Foreign TV show thanks to his work soundtracking Lebanese TV show ‘Dofaat Beirut’ and for Best World Music track for his original single ‘El Otoor.’
And he won the Outstanding Main Title for a TV Show in a Foreign Language award for his work on the hit show “Dofaat Beirut”.
Off the back of his win, Amir is working alongside the Recording Academy AKA the Grammys to create a new award category shedding light on more diverse world-music artists who he believes deserve wider international recognition.
‘The show is about Beirut in the ’60s,’ says Amir, ‘so it was one unusual challenge for me to musically-capture the essence of another country in another time period with a hint of the French influence on the Lebanese music that took place at this period of Lebanon’s history.
Using this music palette I had to create different emotions for the show like romance, disturbance, joy and sorrow.’
Amir worked closely alongside the director, producer and editor for several weeks to ‘get the vibes of the project’ before tailoring original tracks to specific scenes.
Amir was understandably ‘mesmerized to find my name among the biggest inspiring names in the world in the field of scoring to visual media.’
While the nomination and success for his work on ‘Dofaat Beirut’ might have been a very pleasant surprise for a mainstream project, Amir’s other HMMA nomination for ‘El Otoor’ was the result of people power taking his music viral.
‘El Otoor’ is a gorgeous track and was rightly nominated in the World Music category. But the single almost didn’t exist as it was originally created simply as a musical doodle to fight boredom - and lift spirits - during a Covid-induced lockdown.
But then the track started to go viral, with followers and friends asking when the full version of the track would be released.
There was just one problem… the track didn’t exist beyond the one-minute video.
Amir then worked to create a full version of ‘El Otoor,’ releasing it on August 27, 2020.
The track is essentially a love-song to simpler times, bringing out an authentic Egyptian farm-side sound fused with Flamenco jazz harmonies.
So it’s perhaps no surprise it resonated during the lockdown, providing a precious escape for listeners across the world.
Incredibly those listeners again included the HMMA committee, who nominated Amir for another award.
‘It felt amazing to get international recognition for something that represents your original culture,’ says Amir.
About the HMMAs
The awards were started in 2009 and were the first to celebrate and honour original music in visual media including films, TV programs, video games and more.
They’ve since grown to become the industry standard, recognising huge international companies like Disney and Netflix as well as more diverse works and scores from animation shorts, independent productions and foreign TV shows.