Meet SHERIF. SHERIF is an Egyptian American singer/rapper/songwriter from Northern Virginia currently based in Hollywood. Born in Alexandria, Egypt but he was raised in the DMV area of Virginia. There he discovered his love for music, inspired by artists like Pharell, Missy Elliot, and Timbaland. He self describes his music as a mixture of Hip-Hop, R&B and Pop but his sound is constantly evolving, influenced by the sounds of his culture as well as the world around him. Over the years SHERIF has worked nonstop to perfect his craft and it shows more and more with each track. His impressive storytelling abilities and his consistent high quality tracks makes SHERIF an artist to definitely keep an eye on. SHERIF plans to release his debut album What It’s Like To Be Human in late 2021, and says it has a strong Egyptian theme. Make sure to stream Illusion and read our interview with SHERIF below.
Where did the name SHERIF come from?
SHERIF is an Arabic word meaning “noble”, “honorable”, “highborn”.
I made my government name my stage name because I never came up with an artist name that I really liked. I also realized that I just wanted to be myself, and I wanted to represent where I come from.
Where are you from? Has it molded the artist you are today?
I’m from Alexandria, Egypt. My mom is from New Orleans. I grew up in Virginia. My background has absolutely molded my artistry in every aspect. Being multicultural has opened my mind up to the world and allowed me to take on different perspectives and learn a lot about human beings. Egypt has incredible percussion and instrumentation. I love listening to old Arabic music. New Orleans has the jazz scene and one of the most beautiful communities of music, art and people in the world. The DMV has also shaped my sound as well as I’ve taken heavy influence from legends in our area. Virginia will always be a part of me and my art. Pharrell, Missy Elliot, Timbaland, Pusha T, Brent Faiyaz, Goldlink and Kali Uchis are some of my hometown heroes.
You are Egyptian, correct? Do you travel overseas at all and visit Egypt? Does Egyptian culture have any reflection on your music?
Yes, born in Alexandria, Egypt. I don’t visit often enough but I plan on making a long trip home in 2022. Egypt is so rich in culture in so many different ways. They started mathematics, astronomy, written language, invented paper, were one of the most ancient civilizations and strongest empires in the world. Egyptian people are so beautiful, both inside and out. I learned the value of family from Egypt. My blood will always be reflected in my music both metaphorically and literally. My next album after What It’s Like To Be Human has a strong Egyptian theme around it.
How would you describe your music?
You’re watching a movie and I’m writing the script. The suspense is building and you don’t know what’s going to happen next. The genres are all mashing up together. My passion for film will always push me in cinematic direction sonically. It’s a mixture of Hip-Hop, R&B and Pop but the sound is constantly evolving. I think me as a storyteller is the thing that remains uniform with whatever style I’m currently undertaking.
You had some success on “Another Life”. Talk to us about that record, how did it feel to gain the success you got for it off of Spotify?
Another Life is a classic. I play it at every show. My fanbase has championed and it definitely opened up new doors for me. The spotify numbers are cool but what I’m really most focused on is building organic relationships with my fans and growing a community that’s so strong it can’t be broken.
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