6 Arabic rock bands everyone should know

Rock is a western kind of music that wouldn’t go well with Arabic right? Absolutely not! Lately that sentence was proven to be wrong and it was obvious that Arabic rock is nothing less than western rock. Of course we all saw the independent musicians and bands explosion that was very apparent especially in the last 15 years but today I’m not talking about people who are known to most of us like Cairokee or Ramy Essam, today I want to speak about musicians and bands who are relatively unknown but should have their music delivered to the largest number of people.


If you’re a rock fan then you can’t miss them. Khayal (imagination in Arabic) is an Egyptian band that was formed in 2013 and it consists of Hanya Mahmoud, Mohab El-Sherbiny, Ramy Hamdy, Ziad Nabil, Ahmed and Ezz Tarek and in a very short time Khayal was able to have a large fan base. Khayal believe that their imagination is the message that they want to deliver to their audience cause imagination is one of the best things a human being can ever have. Khayal have released their first album titled “Awel w Mesh Akher Mara” or first but not the last time which has 6 songs that have all been very successful especially “Bahr” or sea that was heard more than 120k times on Soundcloud.



If you’re a metalhead then you must have heard the name Kayan (entity) at least once before. Kayan is an Egyptian band which started in 2005 and they specialize in Grunge which is a branch of Alternative rock. Kayan consists of Mohamed Samir, Mohamed Salem, Sherif El-Shazly, Adham Nasef and their sound engineer Mostafa Fathy. The band’s message is “The Resistance for whatever you resist for” and their goal is to spread the soul of Arabic rock all over the world to change the way the world looks at the Arabic culture. Kayan have released 2 albums and their second album is called “Bel Dam” or with blood which grabbed the attention of a lot of rock fans especially with their song “Ila Al-Jihad” or to jihad (seems obvious) which was played more than 300k times on Soundcloud.



Egyptians’ (and mine too) favorite Jordanian rock band. Jadal (argument) was fromed in 2003 and nowadays it consists of Mahmoud Radaideh, Bader Helalat, Hakam Abu Soud, Ahmad Zoubi, Amjad Shahrour, Ammar Urabi and Hani Mezyan and they were more than capable of spreading their music in lots of Arabic countries. Jadal started by making a cover for Abdel Halim Hafez’s song “kol ma a’ool el toba” in a rock style that was completely different from the original song’s style and on contrary to some expectations that presumed it wouldn’t be accepted by people and would only be seen as a classic by a legendary artist that was sabotaged by rock artists, the song attracted a lot of people to them and it was the first step in their career. Jadal have released 3 albums till now and their last album “Malyoun” or million (obvious again) has been quite a hit. Listen to them on their soundcloud.



One of the most successful Jordanian bands on the field is Autostrad. Autostrad was formed in 2003 having Avo Demerjian, Bashar Hamdan, Shadi Khries, Yazan Al Rousan, Burhan Al Ali and Hilmi Fanni. Autostrad are known for their sarcastic tone in judging the world and they have chosen Indie rock as their weapon. They try to judge everything they see whether it’s something cheerful like love and hope or some more serious topics like war and freedom but they still haven’t lost their sarcasm their. Since the band was formed, Autostrad have released 3 albums and their last album “Nitrogen” that was released in 2013 was very popular by the song “khalas” or enough that was played more than 140k times on Soundcloud.


5.Shady Ahmed Band

When we talk about powerful music we can’t forget to mention Shady Ahmed Band. Shady Ahmed Band is an Egyptian Indie rock band that consists of Shady Ahmed, Ousso Lotfy, Jack Avakian and Marwan Zaki. Shady got involved in the music business in 2008 and although he wasn’t very active before he started standing out in last 2 years. One of Shady’s most famous songs is “Kashmagy” which was made with “Di Salata” team as a cover for Pharrell William’s hit single “Happy”. Also from his best work is “Lessa fi Kaman” or there’s still more which he made with the superstar producer Hassan El Shafei and other songs like “Haga w Eshreen” or twenty something and “California” which are some of his greatest songs. Shady has released one album in 2012 titled “Life Is Hard For Those Who Dream” which is available on itunes but unfortunately I was not able to listen to it cause it’s not yet on youtube. *apologies for the mistake Shady* The band is currently working on their debut Arabic album which will be inspired by music from the 70s and I just can’t wait for it. You can check out his soundcloud here for some acoustic tracks


6.Mallakey El-Qahera

If you can’t read Arabic and the name isn’t obvious for you, Mallakey El-Qahera (Cairo-licensed private car) is an Egyptian alternative rock band that really slays it. Mallakey El-Qahera was first created by Amir Habeeb after he split from his previous band. The band now consists of Shehab Younes, Amir Habeeb, Mores Emil, Mohamed Sabry, Mohamed Amgad Elattafy, Mostafa Hani and Mahmoud Faisal. The band hasn’t released any albums yet but they have performed some amazing songs. Their biggest hit is called “Wa’olak eh?” or and what do I tell you which was amazingly played more than 1.35m times on Soundcloud but my personal favorite song is “Insan Hor” or a free human especially for the live version of it. Listen to them here.


I said this: this was only a small glass of water in a great ocean of amazing rockers and underground artists of different genres. Tell us who’s your favorite in a comment.


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