On May 10th, Orient Art released Fulltone’s latest EP, Wise People, and I had the pleasure of sitting down with Amr Khaled over Skype to find out what it’s all about.
Amr is a passionate musician and producer located in Cairo, Egypt. Fulltone, his alias, comes from “the harmony that results from diversified beats, sounds, rhythms and melodies; the perfect unity achieved when all these come together and merge into one tone; one Fulltone.” His musical process includes recording live instruments over synthesized beats and basslines. A multi-instrumentalist who enjoys picking up new instruments wherever he travels, on Wise People you can hear the sounds of the Greek buzouki, Turkish saz or bağlama, and tablas from Nepal soaring over the groove. We spoke a lot about recording and instrumentation, agreeing that although the electronic libraries are extremely advanced and you can get very meticulous about the way each note sounds… nothing beats live recording.
He takes this philosophy on stage with him, playing primarily his own productions, and having his brother, Mada, and friend, Asfour, join him for the instrumentals. “We play mainly live – I play all the machines and they take all the instruments. I enjoy it more as a band, you know, I think the presence you have on stage has more impact that way. It’s more fun – a more relaxed collective energy with space to improvise. We play electronic, just with live instruments.”
I asked him what inspired the production of his Wise People EP.
“I had a gig in Sinai – the Red Sea. It’s so beautiful there with the Bedouins, the mountains, and the sea. I scored the music for that specific night based on what I would like to listen to while I’m there. So I made almost an hour of music, and these four tracks are what came out for the EP. It was targeted for the Red Sea, the mountains, and the Bedouins, the fire and the tea.”
I love the way that the EP as a whole piece takes you on a journey – I feel daytime pleasures and euphoria riding into the haunting beauty of the setting sun and into the dusk of the evening. Although I could put more colours and ideas into your head, I’d rather let Amr’s statement set up your imagination to interpret his music for yourself.
Amr and I got into a discussion about the ongoing journey through music. He left his career in architecture to fully delve into musical production and now writes music for television programs, does sound engineering, and records and mixes for local bands outside of his production as Fulltone. He also teaches small groups how to use the various programs and machines necessary for producing electronic music. He hopes to eventually find the perfect balance of touring and producing, creating and performing.
Closing our conversation, he gave me a virtual tour of his studio, and even sat down and improvised on his guitalele for a few minutes. Be sure to check out all of Fulltone‘s creative work and have a listen to his Wise People EP right now:
Article by: Jillian
Jillian Fulton is a PhD candidate at York University in Toronto. Her work explores Arab identity in the electronic music scenes of Toronto and Montréal with a focus on diaspora politics. As a trained musician, she studied classical piano performance at Queen’s University before branching off into world folk and traditional genres in her MA at the University of Alberta, focusing on Arabic music. A specialist Arabic folk music, she sings, plays the `oud, and is well-versed in theory. Fusing her love for folk and electronic music, she is currently getting comfortable on decks. For more information on her project, find her on social media @chebakhadijah or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.