Mostafa Kerdani, Associate Creative Director, Isobar Cairo, discusses his musical roots, creative processes and the work that has left lasting impression on him.
How did you end up being in the creative industry?
When I finished high school, I went to college to study engineering and failed miserably in my first year! I always wanted to pursue a career in one of the two things I love the most – drums or advertising. So after failing in engineering, I switched to the faculty of Mass communication and majored in Public relations and Advertising. At that same time, when I was in college, I started playing drums professionally, performing sessions, recording and touring with commercial and underground artists.
What's your favourite piece of work you have worked on?
I worked on this ad for SWVL as a music producer, not a creative, and thoroughly enjoyed composing, recording and putting this song out in the world.
What's the one piece of work you most wish you'd done?
When this ad went viral, the timing was amazing. Egypt was winning in matches at the Afcon and these players became heroes to everybody across the country. Since the idea itself revolves around protecting the players before the matches, it hit the target hard. Thousands of memes were shared with screenshots of the ad, with insights and events from each match.
What kind of student were you?
The class clown, forever and always. I sit in the back, crack jokes and ask the weirdest questions.
What invention are you waiting to happen?
Teleportation! I hate driving and it’s about time we change the way we move around.
What do you do if you've hit a wall with creative ideas?
I always use music and advertising to switch gears. When I hit a wall while working on a brief, I practice drums…the wall disappears. The same goes for drumming – if I find myself lacking passion and motivation, I write ideas, jingles or any random thoughts, which gets me excited about practicing again.
What secret hobby do you have that would surprise us?
It’s not a hobby, it’s more of a skill, but I’m secretly into airplanes and commercial flying. I used to spend a lot of my free time on Flight Simulators, so basically I know how to start a Boeing 737 from cold and dark to ready for taxiing. If I'm ever on a Boeing 737 and both pilots need a designated driver/pilot, I’m available!
Tell us about an artist that we've never probably heard of.
Brooklyn 99 is one of my favorite shows, I've watched it millions of times and still do every now and then.
What app could you absolutely not live without? What app do you wish you could delete?
Two apps actually – the metronome app, which is essential for practicing drums, and the notes app, which I use almost every 2 minutes – either to remind myself of something, or to quickly write down ideas before I forget.