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Originally formed by Maii Waleed (vocals/keys), Ismail Seleit (keys/synths), Mohamed Mallawany (bass), and Marwan Wahid (drums) in August 2015, Ritza played a number of gigs around Cairo and garnered extensive local attention with their electro/surfpop approach – infused with robotic vocals in Arabic, electronic beats, synth-based disco grooves and driving bass lines.
Waleed brings diverse influences to the table. Having worked with leading Lebanese producer Zeid Hamdan for six years and played numerous gigs in Beirut, Amman, and Cairo, she spent enough time figuring out what sound she wants to produce for herself. Came back to Egypt in 2014, and got together with Seleit and Mallawany to end up with Ritza’s own signature sound of electropop.
Few months later they were joined by guitarist Youssef Abouzeid, who was also part of Waleed’s previous band with Seleit and Mallawany back in 2013, adding melodic guitar lines and noisy ambient textures to realize a fuller sound as a band. Soon enough Hassan Seleit replaced Marwan on drums, and with previous experience with Abouzeid and his brother Ismail in El Manzouma, things added up together pretty naturally with his punchy and teasing drum lines.
Ritza has now written almost an hour of music that ranges from mellow, ambient sounds that demonstrate somber styles; to faster, tighter and more synth-dominated dance tunes.