Although he is only 34, Sary Hany already has a big career behind him. Guitarist and music producer, he founded Key66 productions in 2014: the first music and sound production studio in Cairo. A way to expand the boundaries of his music for TV ads, movies but also for artists in Egypt.
If you are familiar with TV commercials in Egypt or Lebanon, you might have already heard the sounds of Sary Hany. Well known in the Middle East, we can find among his creations numerous TV spots for Coca Cola, Vodafone, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism, MTC Lebanon or even the famous telecommunications brand Du in the UAE. A work that has been locally and internationally recognized throughout different advertising competitions such as MENA Crystal, Dubai Lynx, New York Festival and the Cannes Lions. But far to restrain his passion for music at the only doors of the advertising world, he also put his talents to the service of the cinema industry as well as famous Egyptian artists like Zap Tharwat.
You started navigating in the music field at a very young age. What brought you to play music?
Me playing music was a lucky coincidence, I was 9 and we were having a family gathering when my cousin brought a guitar. He was showing us what he achieved practicing the last two months. I asked him if I could try, and it took me a couple of minutes to play what took him two months to play. My parents and everybody around were so surprised, that the same day my family bought me a guitar and a week later I started my first guitar lessons. One year later, I was playing my first concert in front of a big audience. Because I was more interested in rock music, I bought my first electric guitar at the age of 14 and formed my first band one year later. We played in all talent shows, night clubs and available venues and magazines here in Egypt started to write about us. Unfortunately, things slowed down when I went to college, I started giving all my time to studying architecture, but after 3 years of studying my passion for music making took over again, and from this day on I didn’t stop making music again.
You’ve started becoming really famous in Egypt and in the Middle East through the music you made for several commercials and especially Coca Cola. How did you get into this industry?
Again, it was a coincidence. I had a dear friend of mine who knew someone at Coca-Cola, and we offered to make music for one of their ads. Then, I started taking phone calls from agencies and production houses to make music for their ads, and to date, I have been and am still working on music for huge campaigns all over the globe.
What is your creative process when you create a sound for a brand?
Actually, that is a very tricky question because this is always very different from one project to another. But my guidelines would be to be part of the team, understand what they are trying to say and the emotion they are trying to convey. The rest is just about enjoying the whole process of making music, sometimes it’s really sincere and at other times it’s just a craft.
In 2014, you have launched Key66production, the first sound music production in Cairo. Can you present it?
Key66production is a company formed by me, my brother who is an incredible music producer, and my wife. We wanted to expand more and make a whole audio suite, where all your audio needs could be found in one place. It can go from overdubs to recording, mixing, Foley, sound design, etc…. We started taking a lot of projects that I alone couldn’t handle, so now we work with a lot of producers. Having all these producers under one roof keeps things fresh and open to new ideas, we are able to share our musical ideas together and be more productive.
You also made the soundtrack of Gaza surf club, a documentary presented at the Toronto International Festival in 2016. How do your work on this type of project?
Everybody loves a good story, and I love to be part of telling the story. Working on a film is like working on a big canvas, unlike a short tv spot for example. So my process here was very different: if I could usually finish 3 ads a day, it took me weeks to find the first note when it came to the film. I took a week just watching the film again and again, and then I worked on putting myself in every character’s situation. I asked myself “which character should I be?”. I couldn’t touch an instrument until I was in the right state of mind and knew exactly what I wanted to say.
What is the most challenging aspect of your career?
The most challenging thing for me is to keep loving what I do and to be able to keep doing it for longer and longer. Every day, I know more about music, but I also figure out that I know nothing at all. That’s a blessing to know that there is always more to learn and this is what makes every project a new challenge for me.