The Macksey Journal


In this research project on contemporary female singers in Egypt, I will reveal the creative processes behind alternative female musicians' sounds and explore how female musicians who inhabit the fringes of underground musical niches contribute to social changes and impact gender roles in the Egyptian music domain. Over time, Egypt has undergone multiple waves of radical social and political change, including the 2011 revolution and the ousting of President Mubarak. The political and social changes that occurred during this pivotal event have increased the importance of music as an avenue for protest and expression and have allowed more space for women to participate. I contend that the music these female artists produce is a valuable form of protest and expression and allows women to change the discourse regarding traditional gender roles in the Egyptian musical sphere. To explore my conviction, I will conduct interviews with three contemporary female musicians in Egypt including: Maryam Saleh Saad, Nadah El Shazly, and Sahar El Zoghbi to better understand their creative processes and how their music relates to social and political issues in Egypt. I hope to show the development of gender roles in the musical domain, and how music is a vital route for social and cultural change in the Egyptian state.