After a long journey that Omar Ashour (founder and producer) had in several countries by forming and participating in numerous music groups in Canada and Egypt. He decided with the encouragement of family and friends, to create his own musical project.
He started songwriting and during this process was exploring all directions from musical, soft-rock, EDM and more. But before the planning, he worked on his first single which mainly was between R&B/funk and a Depeche-Mode-esque sound. The song was mixed and mastered at Amr Hefny's Ganoub Studio, and after the positive feedback, he started working on his next tune which was in Arabic-lyric with a Latin-style.
Through his path of self-discovery, he let himself drift out into new territory. “I began infusing the music with ideas from Eastern styles and scales, seeing how various elements could work together.” Omar explained. While he exploring such a journey he began to contact musicians to see how it’s going to look like after adding rhythm to his melodies, he contacted Tamer Essam (drums) and Amr el-Zanaty (producer and percussionist) to help him establish the core of Skeletons.
And here it is the full vision of Omar about the band:
I didn't really think of Skeletons as a band at first. In fact, I wanted to get away from the pressure of finding a strict core of individuals to play with, considering all of the scheduling hassles, as well as the introduction of “too many cooks in the kitchen.” I much preferred the idea of a one-man-band, where things would be more manageable. As I continued in the process, however, I found there were individuals who were willing to contribute in a larger capacity than merely performing or recording, and had some ideas which would alter the vision of the project. At that point, Skeletons stopped feeling like a solo venture and started becoming a collaborative effort, especially with the percussionist Amr el-Zanaty, who was slowly stepping more into the production role.
From the get-go, I felt that the project should not just take on my own name, as a sort of default choice; it deserved its own name. What that name was going to be, and whether it was English or Arabic, was up in the air, but I certainly didn't feel that a conventional title like The Ashour Band or Ashour and Friends would really reveal much about the elegance or depth of the music. It happened that when I showed Tamer Essam the first recording I had made, he paused at a lyric which went, “spend your time with too many skeletons, you turn into one.” He had brought my attention then to the connection between the word and the music, and after some reflection, I thought it really fit. In these times, many of us have become skeletons in a sense. After quelled hopes, exertion brought on by life's disconnected nature, and generally dealing with a loss of humanity in today's society, we have been worn down to the bone. While this is a grim picture, many of us are still trying to get back to our own truths, and expressing ourselves in the best way we know-how, which, in our case, is through music. So, is it Skeletons making this music? Possibly. Is it that many of us are trying to get away from the Skeletons of the world? Perhaps it's best to leave some questions open.
When I began thinking about lyrics for some of the songs in the album, I was not sure that I wanted them all to be in English, which I am more comfortable with both speaking and writing. Since being here in Cairo, I have been communicating more in Arabic. I figured, since my being bilingual is part of my bicultural identity, the lyrics should reflect just that. Also, the people listening to this work may not all be English-speakers, and I wanted to invite that. Cultural matters aside, the words speak of love, in its different forms. Whether it's for another or for self, for the love of country or for the source of creation, all is love. And with love comes all sorts of things: the pain of longing, the pain of separation, dissolution of self, change, empathy, jealousy, anger, defeat, and the will to push through in one direction or another, while united, or apart. This is what these songs are about. I see love not as an answer, but as a road which reveals itself after much searching. And the searching may lead to either answers or to further questions. In any case, some of us like the trek enough to keep going.
The band officially signed with Naqada Music Management to become their official media representative and to handle their debut album release.