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How Egypt’s Hady Moamer is Conquering the World of Hip-Hop

one beat at a time

Of all the talent who have emerged out of Egypt, Hady Moamer, also known as Jean-Bleu, stands as one of the region’s most subversive creative forces at the moment. 

Repeatedly recognized and lauded for his sonic compositions, the rising star is a producer during the day and moonlights as a rapper at night. For each role, the self-proclaimed Egyptian sound innovator carries a different moniker as a way to separate his dual artistic persona. When making melodies and building beats, he goes by the name of Jean-Bleu; when he’s in the recording booth to spit some bars though, he prefers Hady Moamer. 

“Today, I’m a hybrid of both,” he told MILLE. “ They’re the same person, but I’d say that Jean-Bleu is more egotistic, he’s too focused, he’s in his thing constantly— whereas Hady, which is a contraction of Abdelhady, my government name, is more playful,” he revealed, shedding light on the roots of both names. “I used to get called Hady as a kid and my dad’s name is Moamer so it felt natural to mix the two for some aspects of my art. Jean-Bleu’s story is much different. It’s inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat, it has that twist that makes it memorable, and I just like how it sounds as well,” he added. 

Before time-stamping his presence in the region’s rich tapestry of culture and music, Moamer was just a kid with plenty of dreams like millions of others in Egypt. But like most, the World Wide Web had provided him with just the right amount of tools, skills, and exposure needed to compete with Cairo’s abundance of creative outlets and forge his own path from the southeastern bank of the Nile River.

“I grew up in Luxor, Upper Egypt, so the only way to get into anything creative was the internet, I had no other option really,” he explains, emphasizing the “vital” role the digital sphere played in his personal and professional development. “My story with music started on Facebook over a decade ago. I had a group of friends who were trying to make beats back then and I decided to give it a go myself. I started making my first few (beats), but they were honestly terrible to the point where my friends were literally telling me to stop,” he jokingly recalled of the time his close circle would go as far as roasting his early creative process and end results. “But it then became personal as the moment someone tells me I can’t do something, I go crazy, and give it my all to prove everyone wrong,” he continued.

“With time, I fell in love with the intricacies of beat-making, the hard work behind it, and how much you can convey through melodies, drums, and hats. I kept on going, with no specific aim in mind, only trying to see where it could take me. It was a period of time where most of my focus was directed towards building up my taste and sound,”  confessed the Grammy nominee (he was among the producers for Drake’s Pipe Down from Certified Lover Boy, which received a Grammy nomination in 2021).

 

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“I was so locked in, working on my sound 24/7 to the point where I was confident enough to send my beats (to other producers and artists), not even thinking that anyone would reply,” he added. 

As it turned out, people eventually did get back to the soon-to-become industry-acclaimed producer. From J. Cole and Drake, to Brent Faiyaz, Fetty Wap, Marwan Pablo, Bayou, and more, Moamer’s beats quickly caught the attention of some of the biggest names in the music industry. He went from being a small-town dreamer to a sought-after producer as well as first-hand evidence that with hard work and determination, nothing can stand in your way of global success. 

After establishing himself as one of the best producers to do it, the Egyptian keyboard champion recently began trying his luck at rapping, and considering what he has released so far, it seems as if his presence behind a mic is just as remarkable as his beat-making skills. With two projects released over the past year, Moamer has demonstrated the versatility of artistry, proving to be a real musical polymath whose talent knows no bounds. His transition, from an already successful behind-the-scenes producer to a gifted rapper, has been met with wide-scale acclaim. This shift in the industry, he allegedly always saw coming. 

“I always had a microphone when I was making beats. I’d be experimenting on the low. It’s something that not many knew, although I’ve repeatedly used my own vocals in some productions already— a voice is an instrument of its own,” he explained. “At some point, I tried putting words on my top lines and was trying to figure out in which language it would be. Arabic just felt natural, so I just went with my instinct,” he added. 

His trajectory brings to mind others in the industry, like Timbaland or Kanye West himself, but these comparisons should be left aside as the multi-hyphenate is carving a path of his own: one that celebrates his creativity while undeniably uplifting his Egyptian roots, his Arab heritage, and his unique cultural perspective. By staying true to himself while leaving an indelible mark on the world’s stage, the artist is setting a powerful example for aspiring cultural workers in the Arab space to follow with and through. 

“I want my work to give people the feeling that traditional Egyptian clothing, for example, is cool; or that the many other things that define us are charming and enticing, and worthy of being probed. It’s never been put in that context before. It’s all about balance, and pushing boundaries,” he proudly said. “I want to export our culture, the traditions of Upper Egypt, and celebrate what makes us great, especially on the sound aspect of things. I’d like to be able to formulate a whole story, which I tried to achieve through Zekrayat Elmostabal,” he continued, referring to his second EP, released earlier in September, following the success of his debut solo project Darbet Bar2 in 2022. 


“I needed to figure out a way to bridge my heritage, my culture, the stuff I grew up on, and all the vintage folklore we have in my city with my own taste,” Moamer revealed. “It’s about trying to find that feeling of realness, and transcribing it through music.”

Full of ambition and having well understood the importance of hard work and representation, Moamer is both a musical innovator and a cultural ambassador, going above and beyond to set a benchmark that inspires all those who cross his path, standing as a symbol of what can be achieved when integrity, authenticity, and talent are brought together. Reaching the global industry’s summits, it’s clear that his names, both Jean-Bleu and Hady, will never be forgotten. 

 

Pictures courtesy from @Speko

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