Thursday, June 21, 2007

Morocco's Hip Hop powers on.

Back in May we reported on the Mawâzine Rythmes du Monde’ festival in Rabat and the continuing growth of Moroccan Hip Hop music. Although some critics have said they think Hip Hop is likely to be a short-lived phenomenon, we are not so sure. Bands such as Zanka Flow, H-Kayne, Fnaïre, Kanka, Ma Yara Fusion and Bigg are powering on and even picking up international comment.

In a recent article Asharq Al-Awsat reported on conversations with musicians they had recorded during the Mawâzine Festival - it makes interesting reading.

According to Farid Ghenam, one of eight members that make up the Casablanca-based group ‘Ma Yara Fusion’, their music is a blend between traditional Moroccan and Western sounds. The group was awarded this year’s Mawâzine prize in the music category [the same award also went to ‘Hakmin’ from Meknes], and the reason behind its success, in Ghenam’s opinion, is that the group’s members exert all their efforts to deliver the best to their audiences. He affirms that audiences are able to discern between genuine songs and pretentious ones. Ghenam does not deny the role of the media in making these groups known; groups that have imposed themselves on the scene to fill the gap that already existed.

However, Zacharia Bnan, a member of the Bnan performance arts troupe, which performs folkloric Moroccan music, believes that the rap phenomenon in Morocco is a short-lived one that will soon disappear. He predicts that the people will get bored with such groups and ultimately seek tradition, which is embodied in the Moroccan music culture. Bnan, who spoke with confidence, said that his troupe wanted to emphasize the fact that Moroccan youth do not rush to imitate the Western tradition and that they were attached to their Moroccan identity.

For his part, 23-year-old Yousef al Fajri who is the accountant for ‘Hnouz’ group stated that young people nowadays prefer loud music. He said that this was the reason ‘Hnouz’ chose to play this type of music, and furthermore added that the lyrics of their songs were not a priority but rather that the melodies and rhythms came first.

Read the full article here: Moroccan Hip Hop


No comments: