Introducing… Egyptian Hip Hop

  • 8 February 2010
  • From the section Music

What jokers! Neither Egyptian nor hip hop, the four college students are the latest subversive pop servants coming out of Manchester.

Egyptian Hip Hop
Manchester band Egyptian Hip Hop started playing gigs in 2009

Perhaps it's the blinding glare of the buzz surrounding his band at the moment, or the din of the rest of his gang watching Terminator 2 in the back of the tour van, but Alex Hewett is pretty quiet today.

He speaks in meek, one sentence answers, seemingly with his mind on other things.

You can't blame him for being a little distracted though as Manchester's latest darlings - Alex Pierce (drums), Nick Delap (bass) and Lou Stevenson-Miller (guitar) all 17 years old - EHH are midway through their first ever UK tour.

They're dates which come while they're being touted as the fourth leg of north-west England's 2010 takeover - Delphic, Everything Everything and Hurts being the other three.

'Boring' studies

Right now the foursome are fitting playing gigs around attending college - or not, as the case may be.

"Me, Nick and Lou do music B-tech so right now we'd probably be studying acoustics which is really boring," says Hewett. "Just calculating differences between units of time.

"We are just sitting in a van right now but it is a lot more relaxing at least.

"We're kind of organising around it [school] at the moment," he says reluctantly. "I haven't got a huge interest in college because it just doesn't teach me as much as actually being out here."

Huge buzz

Egyptian Hip Hop's own journey began last year when they began writing material in Lou's bedroom. A buzz quickly grew with the release of their debut single Rad Pitt, a lo-fi tinkling waterfall of pop.

Bulkier in sound, current follow-up Wild Human Child is a different kind of beast produced by Sam Eastgate lead singer of Nottingham experimenters Late Of The Pier.

"I met Sam a few years ago now because I'm quite good friends with his brother who is the same age as us," explains the singer. "We always knew he was really talented with production.

Egyptian Hip Hop
The band's new single is produced by Late Of The Pier's Sam Eastgate

"We're definitely a fan of Late Of The Pier, they've done something quite new but in a pop context."

It's a sound, coupled with the return of Klaxons this year, that's had bloggers, record labels and promoters getting feverishly excited about Egyptian Hip Hop. They've also already been Nick Grimshaw's 'record of the week'.

"We haven't really considered stuff like a record deal," says Hewett quietly. "We don't even know what songs we've got that could become a record."

One thing they do know is that they're not going to stop trying new things and decide exactly what the sound of their own band is to be.

"Unless you're like Oasis you don't do things for years and years," he says.

"We all listen to different music between us - we just experiment. We've already set it so we don't have any boundaries as such - we're free to throw any idea into a song.

"We'll pretty much do anything."

Listen to the band in session for Radio 1's Huw Stephens