Hassan El Shafei is an Egyptian artist, record producer and media personality, who has taken the Middle East by storm on many artistic fronts and platforms; earning him the title of “heartthrob” among hundreds of thousands of adoring fans across the region.
Having successfully worked with the biggest names in the Arab music industry as a composer, arranger and record producer, not just creating chart topping hits, but also winning accolades, recognition and respect. He cemented himself as a multi-award winning “Super Producer”.
As if the aforementioned wasn’t enough, El Shafei also wanted to further quench his artistic thirst, so he established his own label to create, produce and promote the underground and unconventional music scene with his own distinct flavor, aptly named “The Basement Records”.
Superstardom came knocking on El Shafei’s door when he was cast as one of the three main judges on MBC’s “Arab Idol” which is the regional version of the worldwide hit reality TV franchise “American Idol”. “Arab Idol” quickly became the biggest show around and furthermore it was broadcasted on the most popular and lucrative channel in the Middle East “MBC1”, and with A-list judges such as veteran Lebanese superstar Ragheb Alama and the Gulf’s leading lady of song Ahlam, a new superstar was born in the form of El Shafei to complete the trio of the region’s elite judging panel. Season 2 of “Arab Idol” ups the ante several notches with the addition of Arabic singing sensation Nancy Ajram to the panel, making sure El Shafei is kept in exclusive company.
El Shafei won the much sought after “Best Music Producer” award at the 2009 “Middle East Music Awards”, as well as winning two “Best Music Arranger” trophies at the “DG Magazine Award” once in 2007 and the other in 2009, a feat achieved by a select few. 2010 was also a big year for El Shafei as he won both the “Nogoum Music Awards” and the “Best Rising Label in Egypt”.
These accolades are the tip of the iceberg if you consider the phenomenal six Billboard no.1 hit singles he has under his belt, with a roster of artists that reads the ‘who’s who’ of the Arabic music industry, artists such as; Amr Diab, Mohammad Hamaki, Hossam Habib, Angham, Asala, Sherine Abdel Wahab, Abdel Majid Abdullah, Nancy Ajram, Haifa Wehbe, Nicole Saba, to name a few.
In the nineties, El Shafei was known by his alias “The Saint”, and was responsible for the hit song “My Ecstasy” which dominated the electronic music PLATFORM in the year 2000.
Today, the producer and arranger “Hassan El Shafei” has dropped the moniker, lending his real name to the producing credits of super hit songs such as Amr Diab’s “Wayah”, Angham’s “Ana Aysha Hala”, Hossam Habib’s “Shoft B Enaya”, Abdel Mejid Abdallah’s “Yahlamoun” and more, ensuring every song he introduces offers a new sound and ushers in a new musical genre to the Middle East
Starting 2014 El Shafei was quite an icon by that point. El Shafei had a few very important projects UP HIS SLEEVE FOR 2014. El Shafei produced the official World Cup Hit by Coke Ft. Nancy Ajram and Cheb Khaled; shortly after, El Shafei was chosen by PEPSI to contribute to their first ever global album “PEPSI BEATS OF THE BEAUTIFUL GAME” Ft. popular artists such as: Kelly Rowland, Janelle Monae, Rita Ora, Don Omar, Timbaland and Santigold. with 11 tracks from around the world and El Shafei being the only arab contributing to the album with his song “Ahlam men Gedid” ft. Hossam Habib. This album was released worldwide on June 10th. Even after those noticeable and prominent projects
Yet it did not stop here for 2014 El Shafei was not done surprising his fans yet. his next big hit, marked the birth of El Shafei’s official first step towards his transformation from just a music producer to an Artist. El Shafei’s hit, “Mayestahlushi”, with “Abla Fahita” was released on the end of July and took the whole region by surprise. This release simply redefined creativity in the music industry. El Shafei was keeping a very close eye to the details of that project and has travelled to shoot the music video in berlin with the all-so-controversial and hilarious YouTube’s Abla Fahita. For months, everyone, on all social media aspects has anticipated what “Mayestahlushi” was. It went from a hashtag to a solid music video and great production. Booming to a whooping 1 million views in the first 5 days of its release, “Mayestahlushi” continued to play everywhere and succeeded to be the ultimate summer hit. “Mayestahlushi” secured the #1 spot in the top trending YouTube music videos in many countries in the region with over 8 million views to date. Also, “Mayestahlushi” reached #1 of all trending Twitter hashtags in Egypt.
Preparing for a grand project; he is producing the official handball world cup anthem featuring 24 artists; each one representing a country participating in the championship. This is set to be one of the greatest and most anticipated hits.
Yet El Shafei is considered to be one of the few producers with unique talents ranging from composing and orchestrating classical pieces to programming hip funk electro beats, with a knowledge and a passion for many different genres, El Shafei has his own unique sound; blending different cultures together and creating new ones.
The Basement Records:
“The Basement Records” is a record label that creates music with its very own flavor. It stands out with its new experimental projects that aim to introduce new artists and revamp the big ones, all aimed at digging out the essence of the Middle East in its true form and glory. El Shafei’s 2013 release through “The Basement Records” was a track titled “Fe Ekhtelafna Rahma” performed by El Joker featuring Abdullah Al Hussainy. El Shafei’s music is one that has a unique impact, with lyrics that find its way through to the hearts and minds of people.
In 2012 “Mafeesh Mostaheel” was El Shafei’s first release featuring Lebanese Pop Artist Nicole Saba and Egyptian New Age Folk artist Abdel Basset Hammouda. A one of a kind fusion of Folk and Pop music with exceptional beats; combining two significant stars in their genres, together in ONE major production. The song has gained vast public attention and was certainly a controversial subject amongst fans. Prior to its release, “Mafeesh Mostaheel” was much more than a hit, it was all what people could talk about.
El Shafei’s addition as a judge on the first edition of “Arab Idol” under the umbrella of MBC Group has been met with unanimous praise and adoration by the media, critics and fans alike. His no-nonsense direct approach to judging, extensive knowledge in the music industry and sharp wit has proved a huge success on the show and he has always been on point with all his comments in every single episode. Of course, having movie star good looks didn’t hurt either, social media chatter went into a frenzy when El Shafei appeared on the screens, and almost instantaneously he became “The New Muhannad”, catapulting him from a humble number of followers on Twitter to over 1,500,000 and counting. Over 6,000,000 fans wanting to connect with their newly found star on Facebook.
As the serious and straight talking judge with a fierce look on Arab Idol, El Shafei continues to reprise this persona on the second installment of the hugely successful show, but this time even more so than ever before. And with the addition of a fourth judge in the shape of the delectable Nancy Ajram, the show most certainly captured the audience once again and reign supreme as the biggest show in the Middle East with El Shafei right in the heart of it.
As an initiative unique of its kind, Hassan El Shafei was chosen as the first Egyptian/ Arab celebrity figure to be announced “Ambassador” for Hugo Boss fragrances. El Shafei’s iconic values of innovation, persistence, and success were identified to be the most representative of the Hugo Boss fragrance imaged meant to be communicated to yeh Arab youth generation in an attempt to create a change and promote success.