Press release: Freemuse Award winner 2011: Ramy Essam

PRESS RELEASE

Freemuse press release:
Egyptian singer Ramy Essam is Award winner 2011

Egyptian singer Ramy Essam, who provided the soundtrack for the Arab Spring at Tahrir Square, is the winner of the 2011 Freemuse Award. The artist will receive the award at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, on Monday 21 November 2011.

After eight years spent trying to break into the music business, it took less than two weeks for Ramy Essam to turn from a struggling artist into a celebrated “Singer of the Revolution”. His song ‘Irhal’ (‘Leave’) became an anthem of the protesters at Tahrir Square and he is now working on an album of songs inspired by the events at the beginning of the year.

The Freemuse Award Committee stated: “Ramy Essam played an important role during the Egyptian revolution and suffered severe beatings and torture as a consequence. He personifies the powerful role that music played in the Arab Spring.”

Receiving the news in Cairo, Ramy said: “I was extremely happy when I got the news. I really respect this prize because it calls for freedom of expression in music, protecting musicians and advocating free art that is not subjected to any restrictions. At the same time I was proud because I would be able to achieve something for Egypt.”

Marie Korpe, Freemuse Executive Director, said: “Ramy Essam continues a long tradition of protest singers who have become symbols of civil rights movements and through their music express frustrations and hope in song rather than speech. In 2009 Pete Seeger received the Freemuse Award. Like Seeger, Ramy has shown that one musician with a single instrument can make a difference.”

Ramy will receive the Freemuse Award in Stockholm on 21 November 2011 as part of the international conference and concert ‘Right! Freedom of Music & Speech’ organised by the Swedish Society of Popular Music Composers (SKAP) at Södra Teatern. Read more on right11.se

Freemuse Award
The Freemuse Award is sponsored by the Björn Afzelius International Culture Foundation (BAIK). Björn Afzelius, who died in 1999, was a Swedish rock singer who became a passionate spokesman for suppressed people around the world combining his musical career with political activism.


Right-click to open / download the pdf document
Download / print this press release – in A4 PDF format


Email

For radio broadcasters: Contact Freemuse for an mp3-file of the song ‘Live freedom of social justice’

عيش حرية عداله أجتماعيه



Ramy Essam, performing at Tahrir Square in Cairo during the demonstrations in January and February 2011


Click to read more about Egypt on freemuse.org
Egypt

Click for high res photo of the statuette

Media contacts
For interviews, contact Marie Korpe, Executive Director of Freemuse, on the e-mail address:
marie.korpe AT freemuse.org 

For songs for broadcasting or photos for print in high resolution, contact Mik Aidt, Web Editor, on the e-mail address: mik.aidt AT freemuse.org  




Ramy Essam – photos in high resolution

Right-click on photo to download it in high resolution

Depending on your type of browser and computer, right-clicking on
the photo will give you the option to choose the menu ‘Save Target As’,
‘Save To Disk’ or ‘Download Linked File’ whereby the download-process
will begin.
(On a Mac computer: hold the CTRL-key while clicking on the photo).

Right-click and choose 'Save Target As' to download photo in high res
Ramy Essam in Stockholm, 21 November 2011.
Credit: Photo by Mik Aidt

Size 32 x 22 cm in 300 d.p.i. – 6.4 MB


Right-click and choose 'Save Target As' to download photo in high res
Ramy Essam in Cairo, August 2011.
Credit: Photo by Issra Wasfy

Size 8 x 12 cm in 300 d.p.i. – 1.3 MB


Click to download zip-packageDownload zip-package with all photos (9.2 MB)

Right-click and choose 'Save Target As' to download photo in high res
Ramy Essam in Cairo, August 2011.
Credit: Photo by Issra Wasfy

Size 22 x 14 cm in 300 d.p.i. – 1.8 MB


Right-click and choose 'Save Target As' to download photo in high res

Ramy Essam
performing at Tahrir Square in January 2011.
Photo by Mark LeVine.

Size 12 x 14 cm in 300 d.p.i. – 1.1 MB

Right-click and choose 'Save Target As' to download photo in high res
Ramy Essam in Cairo, August 2011.
Credit: Photo by Issra Wasfy

Size 22 x 14 cm in 300 d.p.i. – 1.6 MB


Right-click and choose 'Save Target As' to download photo in high res

Ramy Essam
performing at Tahrir Square in January 2011.
Photo by Mark LeVine.

Size 21 x 11 cm in 300 d.p.i. – 2.1 MB

Right-click and choose 'Save Target As' to download photo in high res
Ramy Essam in Cairo, August 2011.
Credit: Photo by Issra Wasfy

Size 22 x 14 cm in 300 d.p.i. – 1.4 MB


Right-click and choose 'Save Target As' to download photo in high res

Ramy Essam
after he was beaten up by military officers.

Size 4 x 6 cm in 300 d.p.i. – 0.3 MB

Right-click and choose 'Save Target As' to start downloading

The Freemuse Award statuette
, created by glass artist Göran Wärff.

PR photo.

Size 11 x 13 cm in 300 d.p.i.

Right-click and choose 'Save Target As' to start downloading

Without shadow: The Freemuse Award statuette, created by glass artist Göran Wärff.

PR photo.

Size 11 x 13 cm in 300 d.p.i.

About Ramy Essam
Born in 1987 in Al-Mansoura, one of Egypt’s smaller cities, where he went to school and studied engineering, Ramy Essam self-learned playing the guitar and started to write songs at the age of 17, inspired by young poets like Amgad Qahwagi and Mohamed Bahgat, as well as the poet Ahmed Fouad Negm who spoke up against Mubarak’s regime.

In 2009, Ramy Essam established the folk band Mashakel (‘Problems’), and started to advocate for a life in freedom by illustrating in his songs the simple dailyday problems he was confronted with, along with all Egyptians, under Mubarak’s regime. 

Ramy Essam is currently working on producing an album of songs from Tahrir Square, which he had entitled ‘Al Midan’. The album is scheduled for release in November 2011. 




Ramy Essam

Photo: Issra Wasfy


Freemuse article about Ramy Essam

6 April 2011:
‘Musician in the firing line of the Arab Spring’
The events on Tahrir Square gave singer Ramy Essam the reputation as one of North Africa’s new musical revolution heroes, proclaimed to be ‘Egypt’s Bob Dylan’.


Artikel om Ramy Essam p

Media coverage

Bikya Masr – 26 October 2011:

‘Egyptian singer Ramy Essam wins Freemuse award’

PRI’s The World / BBC – 25 October 2011:

‘Ramy Essam Honored with Freemuse Award for Free Musical Expression’

Sveriges Radio P1, Mitt i musiken – 25 October 2011:

‘Freemuse Award 2011 till Ramy Essam’

Protest Watch – 25 October 2011:

‘Egyptian singer Ramy Essam is Award winner 2011’

In Arabic language

Al Ahram – 27 October 2011:

مطرب الثورة رامي عصام يحصل على جائزة السويد للموسيقى الحرة 2011

The Swedish Embassy in Cairo – 26 October 2011:

مطرب الثورة المصرية رامي عصام يحصل

Latest news on this topic

Google News – continuously updated:

Search: “Ramy Essam” + “Freemuse”

Go to top
Related reading on freemuse.org

Back to top