Artists selection for Visa For Music 2020
For its 7th edition, Visa for Music has selected 17 talented groups and artists, Moroccan or resident in Morocco, which we invite you to discover through their video sessions recorded for the occasion. Originally from different regions of Morocco, this year’s artists represent very varied musical styles, ranging from jazz to rap including traditional Moroccan music.
Jubantouja is an alternative music group founded in 2016 in Azilal, with an album repertoire of 7 songs and 4 singles. The group works on traditional and local music and presents it with a new perspective, under a mixture of music and international rhythms. With an original style, their music is inspired by the landscapes and the rich culture of their region of the High Atlas.
RHITA NATTAH is an Independent, self taught singer, songwriter and composer from Fez,Morocco. Her voice is often described as unique since it has arab and african vibrations. In 2017, Rhita Nattah worked as a singer, songwriter on several songs with a band From Switzerland, The collaborations reached more than 100M views. In 2018, Rhita had everyone talking about her when she did interpretations of a couple of Nigerian songs with producer Samir El Bousaadi. Their covers were described as giving a new look to AFROBEAT, WizKid and other big names in the Nigerian scene were attracted to their style. The Moroccan Singer is working with producer Samir El Bousaadi on her own music, she talks about her style as a new sound of the traditional Morocccan music, adding sometimes arabic lines to her english lyrics, a mix that charms her audience.
Born in Ivory Coast, Arnaud N’Gaza quickly became interested in music.
Singing in the local choir; he was admitted after his BEPC to the Abidjan artistic high school where he was a conductor. He began a career as a bassist and double bassist in a well-known jazz club and multiplied musical experiences in studios ranging from concerts to festivals. He collaborates with many internationally renowned artists. Influenced by jazz, Arnaud N’Gaza draws his musical richness from the folk rhythms of the Ivory Coast and the warmth of African sounds. Arnaud N’Gaza enriches his music by pursuing his career in Morocco where he has lived since 2013. He performs on many Moroccan stages.
Founded in 2015, Snitra (which means guitar or stringed instrument in Darija) is a Moroccan fusion group deeply rooted in the musical culture of the eastern region, from which its eight members come. The sometimes joyful and sometimes dark soaring music of this big band Oujdi is an ode to the North African musical identity where gnawa, reggada, gharnati and issawa merge with rock, reggae and jazz.
In 2019 the group began to perform outside the eastern region by participating in the springboard of the Jawhara Jeunes Talents festival in July and ended up winning the first prize in the Fusion category of the prestigious springboard of the festival “ L’boulevard ” in Casablanca in September.
Naji Soul is a singer, lyricist, songwriter, and guitarist from Agadir. He multiplies the performances around the world to share his songs and his love of music.
He has developed a deep knowledge and a certain admiration for various types of music, with a preference for jazz, rhythm & blues, and “world music”, all mixed with North African vibes.
His texts in Amazigh, Darija, French and English are inspired by his daily life and his personal experiences. They are characterized by their universality, and their desire to promote peace, equality and tolerance.
Babel is a ROCK fusion group formed in 2007 whose five members are from Mohammedia. Their sound is the result of a clever mix of several styles and musical influences. Their titles reflect a beautiful energy and the various emotions expressed by these five artists. The goal of the group is to be able to highlight a rock fusion by opening it to the Moroccan culture. After participating in various national events and festivals, and after being elected best fusion group of Generation Mawazine 2011, Babel had the opportunity to meet the producer, RedOne, to collaborate for the release of the track and video clip “Feels So Right” which was a great success. The group also participated in the Génération Mawazine tour and the Mawazine festival, and subsequently performed in several concerts and charity events. The group was welcomed in different cities of the kingdom, especially in Agadir where it was pleasantly surprised by a great reception from the fans. For the year 2020, Babel is currently recording a new opus.
Native of Oujda, Leila grew up in eastern Morocco, a region rich in musical heritage such as Regada, Arfa, Mechiakha, Gharnati, Rai, or even the Algerian Chaâbi. Music lover from a young age, Layla recorded her first single at the age of fifteen, an echo of her regional roots tinged with the influence of world music.
In 2015, she formed “Snitra”, her first group with which she will go on a concert tour punctuated by an artistic residency in Nouakchott in Mauritania in 2017. Leila will then leave Oujda to settle in Casablanca where the music scene is in turmoil. Her voice waltzes between fragility and power, and her music is a harmonious blend of the different styles of her region that she blends with grace and lightness with her Rock, Reggae and Blues influences.
HASBA is a Moroccan group which was founded in the city of Safi in 2006. It started its activity with the idea of digging into the depths of social reality, of experience that is both simple and complex to create committed texts and rooted in this experience. The orientation of this innovative group aims to give a touch of modernity to traditional music without affecting its authenticity. Indeed, by introducing Rock arrangements, electric instruments such as bass, guitar and synthesizer, and soaking up the rhythms of Chaabi, Pop, Music-electronic, Gnawa, Salsa, jazz, Reggae and Rock, the group generates music reflecting the coherent marriage of modernity and authenticity.
Tasuta n-imal, means “future generation” in the Tamazight language. The group’s ambition is to pass on to younger generations the history, values and way of life of nomadic groups in the desert and the inhabitants of the southwest of the Anti Atlas, the region from which the members of the group come. Their texts reflect the difficulties of these sedentary and nomadic groups, in order to share with the rest of the world their culture as well as their values of tolerance, love, peace and resistance. Their music is inspired by a diverse musical heritage, mixing blues and rock, nomadic sounds like those of the Anti-Atlas.
Meryem Aassid is an author and composer of Amazigh and international music. Born in November 1996, she joined the choir of the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture (IRCAM) at the age of 7. At 17, she joined her first funk / rock music group.
In 2015, she created a duet with the Moroccan professional pianist Houda Lakkaf, with whom she revived and modernized the Amazigh songs of the 20th century.
In 2017, she met Oussama Chtouki with whom she designed the “Jazz’Amazigh” project. It is an artistic process that explores Amazigh music, mixing it with international music, and especially jazz. The first album recorded is entitled “Seyh A Tawenza”, “Empower yourself, you women! », and includes songs in Tamazight and English.
In the Sahara, and particularly in Morocco, traditional music has a very important role in society. It is very rich in its diversity (Madih, Guedra, etc.). The Aissaoui group, born in 2004, perpetuates this rich musical tradition, while bringing a modern touch, under the direction of Habib Aissaoui. The group performs in major cultural events in the region but also in other cities of Morocco, not to mention several television programs, regional and national. The Aissaoui thus participated in the Hassani music festival in Dakhla, the “Rawafid Azawan” festival in Laâyoune, and the Assilah festival.
THE SOUISSI BROTHERS
Ali and Hassan Souissi studied classical guitar at the Rabat Conservatory and then in Paris at the Schola Cantorum from 1981 to 1986 with Javier Hinojosa.
Back in Morocco, motivated by their passion and love for Moroccan musical culture, they change course to explore with their brother Hamza (bassist) new musical horizons fusing Moroccan music with Jazz. They have also recorded a dozen music for Moroccan movies.
Sonia Noor is a Moroccan artist, singer, guitarist and composer. Passionate about music since childhood, she learned to sing and play the guitar on her own.
His musical universe reflects his cultural identity where Gnawa and oriental rhythms combine with soul and pop influences. Her latest track, “Mra ou Mermora”, featuring the famous DJ Mr. ID, is a tribute to Moroccan women.
Since September 2017, Sonia Noor has been promoting her EP with Maroc Live Entertainment Group, which she shares by inviting her audience to an inner journey, the time of few melodies.
Hala Bensaid is from Chefchaoun. She studied there at the Musical Institute where she excelled in Andalusian music. She started her career at a young age with national and international participations. At the age of 14, she made her first participation in the 10th Andalusian National Music Festival in Chefchaoun. Rahum Al-Baqali’s Chefchaouni group adopted him as a main voice. Hala Bensaid also stood out for her spiritual energy, which made this group stand out. She represents Morocco in several international festivals.
Originally from the small Amazigh town of Khemisset, Khtek (which means “your sister” in Moroccan), Houda Abouz of her real name, is the new face of Moroccan rap. She started writing songs in 2016, and doesn’t hesitate to broach taboo subjects. If women are still not very present in the front of the stage, a new generation is beginning to make itself heard, undoubtedly carried by social networks and the emancipation of Moroccan women.
Khtek’s free and creative rap does not hesitate to take the opposite view of the traditions of the kingdom. His latest music video, KickOff, has been viewed over 1 million times on Youtube. She tells about the inequalities of society and the vagaries of Moroccan rap with a disconcerting ease.
Born in Essaouira in Morocco, Ahmed Salim Essalmi aka D33pSoul immersed in music very early on. From the age of 7 he started playing the piano, then very quickly guitar, drums, violin and saxophone. Today Artistic Director of Palm Therapy Sounds, he first creates a remix of Edith Piaf which makes him known on the French speaking scene then others of Fairuz, Amr Diab, Oum Kolthoum which give him visibility at the level of the Middle East by accumulating millions of views. He also revisits the pop sounds of the moment such as Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5, Dua Lipa, or even Justin Bieber. He is today crowned with many successes and his music is listened to all over the world. He officiates as a DJ in the most prestigious clubs between Africa, Europe and the Middle East where he continues to offer refined and sharp sets with sounds mixing East and West.
Saddok, from the city of Taza, is a Moroccan rapper known as Figoshin (alias YA SHIN). Figoshin took his first steps by sharing his Rap videos on facebook in 2015. The positive feedback he received from internet users on social media motivated him to release his first single, Yema, the same year. Figoshin then devoted four years of passionate work to release his first EP in March 2019, named D.A.F.