News Brief

Another Egyptian Singer Has Been Jailed Over A ‘Sexually Suggestive’ Music Video

Ahmed Mahran, the lawyer who filed a complaint, says the video is a "moral disaster."

Egyptian pop singer Laila Amer has been sentenced two years in prison for a "sexually suggestive" music video. The sentence has since been reduced to one year after an appeal on Monday.


Amer appears on a video for her song called "Bos Omak (Look At Your Mother)," dancing while a man, clearly titillated by her dance moves, watches her on a TV screen.

Ahmed Mahran, the lawyer who filed a complaint, was quoted by various websites saying that video was a "great risk" to Egypt and that it was a "moral disaster." He pointed out that the song's title rhymes with "Kus Emek," which is an Arabic insult, meaning "Your mom's pussy."

Amer was quoted by the news website Youm7 saying there were no unacceptable words or phrases in the song, adding, "Egyptians say even more than that."

She is the second pop singer unacceptably arrested for a similar case in Egypt. In November, the singer Shyma was arrested after she ate a banana "suggestively" on her music video. She was later sentenced to two years in prison, alongside the video's director.

You can watch Amer's video for "Bos Osmak" below.

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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