By Maha Kenawy
April 6th, AUC’s selected talents made it to the final show of the annual Student Union Talent Show in an all-day-long performance at AUC New Cairo Campus’ plaza.
The show, which started at around 4 pm, featured 15 finalists selected from a huge variety of solo singers, rock bands, instrumental performers, stand-up comedians, poets and many other talents who have signed up for this year’s competition; in addition to the junior talents, AUC Talent Show has been recruiting for three years now.
“This year’s theme is fire and ice!” Roba Riad, the Talent Show general manager, explained the slogan on the crew T-shirts ‘Ice or flame, your step towards fame’. “Whatever you do, whatever your talent is, the Talent Show is here to bring everyone together!” Roba added.
This year, the 1st prize went to the newborn band ‘The Cassettes’ who consider this talent show to be their first major performance. ‘The Cassettes’ consists of four members, Mahmoud, Amy, Maged and Karim who have been performing for only six months. “I was at an open mike night one day and I saw Amy performing. I thought she has an amazing voice [Sic], and I had to work out a project with her.” Mahmoud Kamel, rhythm guitar and backing vocalist, explained how their band started. ‘The Cassettes’ are planning to record their first original song soon.
The 2nd prize went to Hassan Ramzy for his solo performance. Hassan has been performing at open mike events and some small acoustic nights. He has participated a few times in the Talent Show. Last year, Hassan got the 3rd prize.
The 3rd prize this year went to the band ‘Faking It’, who was also among last year’s winners. Although setting up their performance and doing their sound checks took quite a long time during the show, once ‘Faking It’ members started playing their songs, their energy immediately engaged the crowd. ‘Faking It’ has been performing since 2006. “We started off playing covers, just so that the audience will start to know us, and then after we felt like we got a wide fan base, we decided that we should write our own music. And Ever since, we’ve been writing originals and playing them at shows,” Mahmoud, who’s also the lead singer of ‘Faking It’, talked about the band status.
This year’s judges added some extra flavor to the night. Lina, Yara, Mickey and Safi from Nile FM were evaluating the performances of AUC talents during the final show. Lina was also the MC of last year’s show and, according to Roba who has been involved in the Talent Show for four years now, “her presence on stage was great, and people loved her.” Roba also believes that the Nile FM crew gave the performers very constructive comments that could actually help them improve.
The event was supposed to start at 3 pm, after completing all sound checks in the morning. However, the crew had some problems bringing in some of the equipment; therefore, the sound checks were delayed, and the event started more than an hour late. At the end of the day, the crew was satisfied with the big turnout. “For me, the event was perfect. The audience filled the whole plaza; the sponsors were very happy with the turnout… The judges also looked pleased with the performances during the show. It’s normal to have some ups and downs during any event, but all in all, it went well,” Roba explained.
AUC talent show is about bringing underground talents and giving them a chance to be heard and appreciated. Dolly Farid, one of the performers at the final show, expressed her admiration of the Talent Show mission. “I hope that arts become more appreciated in this country… The quality of people that we’ve had tonight was amazing. This is a treasure we have in this country, and it’s not for the elite. Music and art is something that everyone understands. It needs to be appreciated more.” Dolly concluded that she hopes more universities would implement similar projects, and more people would be encouraged to go on stage and show themselves to the world. “We are not perfect, but we took a chance, and this is how you get better [Sic].”