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Stories from Artists in Residence

Phil Battiekh | Studio Residency Experience 2019 [Egypt]

Phil Battiekh is a Mahraganat DJ, producer, conceptual and visual artist who lived in Egypt few years ago to study Arabic, and during his stay he was captivated by the sound of “Mahraganat” all over the streets of Cairo. After coming across his first Mahragan, Phil was inspired to pursue, and spread the genre beyond Egypt with his frequently released mix-tapes, DJ sets at his own “Mahraganat” nights in Switzerland, and in festivals around the world.

Phil says “As a Mahraganat DJ I’ve been following the scene very closely for the past six years and noticed the major impact it had in and outside of Egypt. More and more club producers are incorporating or referencing Mahraganat elements in their productions as well. It was very interesting to see what experimental artists and club producers draw from Mahraganat and how they use it”

Phil Battiekh always appears in photos with an illustration of a watermelon pasted over his face: Translated into Arabic, his name literally means “In the Watermelon,” a play on words that alludes to the cross-cultural nature of his work.

Phil Battiekh chose to come back to Cairo carrying out his Studio Residency, from October to December 2019, to continue what he started few years ago, working on tracks, playing some gigs and enjoying the warmth of the city