For years, songwriters of many stripes and styles have been pausing at SPC to draw water from their deeper wells. We recently learned that the single "Alive" from Hegazy’s first collaborative release traces its origins to 17 Cricketown Road.
Hegazy is Omnia and Leila Hegazy, twins who mix their Egyptian-Muslim/Italian-Catholic roots into soulful explorations of the political and social challenges of the day.
We caught up with Omnia to learn more about “Alive’s” origins:
Can you share a little about how you wrote the song?
The first verse and guitar riff of "Alive" were written on the lawn of SPC. It was a beautiful October day and the trees were a multitude of autumn colors. I remember just sitting in the sun on the grass with my acoustic guitar and humming to myself until a melody took shape. Eventually I started writing some lyrics down and the song started to write itself.
Were you here for a specific conference, or a personal retreat?
It was the first time I had come to SPC and I was staying for a 3 day weekend to get some much needed rest and alone time. I had been working a day job in music publishing and I was exhausted mentally, physically, and spiritually. Commuting long hours and working full time meant I didn’t have time to write music and I felt pretty unhappy and unfulfilled, because I wasn’t following my true calling. My weekend at SPC was my first attempt at an actual songwriting retreat, just me and my guitar and some good books to read — I must have bought 10 books from the book store!”
What is your favorite thing about "Alive"? What do you want people to feel and remember after listening to it?
“Alive” was a song of disillusionment about working a day job and feeling “owned” and exploited by my employer. There was a feeling of “my life belongs to someone else”. In hindsight, though it was a personal tune, it was definitely a critique of capitalism. This was my song of emancipation and I finished it after I finally quit that job to pursue music full time! I want people to listen to this song and feel like they can break free of what holds them back too!
Are there one or two other songs you think SPC friends might be particularly interested in?
Yes! We wrote "Here to Stay" about the climate of xenophobia and biogtry in this country right now, especially in light of the families who have been separated by ICE. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo4IAUbr0y8
How can people listen to or buy Hegazy's music?
We’re on Spotify, iTunes/Apple Music, and every major music platform you can think of! You can also purchase the physical CDs and/or download high quality audio files on Bandcamp.