The life story of singer Aziza Brahim contains both hardships and inspirational successes. Exile is an important theme in her music, something she expresses through poetic lyrics about hope and freedom, recognition and justice. Aziza Brahim brings together the traditions of desert blues from the Sahara with the rhythms of the current-day Western world, using bits and pieces from Arabic, Andalucian, desert blues and Latin.
Brahim grew up in a refugee camp for Saharawi, a nomad tribe from Western Sahara, close to the border between Morocco and Algeria. Her birth place of Laayoune was occupied by the Moroccan army in 1975. In order to get away from the pressure of the Moroccan regime, she moved to Cuba as a teen to go study. Nowadays, she lives and works as an artist in Barcelona.
The music she makes is an expression of both the sadness and the hope of the Saharawi. Each song is based on the heart beat of the Saharawi, inspired by people she knew from the camps in the desert, but also by people who managed to build a life for themselves elsewhere.
Her fifth album, “Sahari”, was released by Glitterbeat and is a mix of the South and North in terms of sound. For the album’s production, she collaborated with Amparo Sánchez, known from the band Amparanoia, who managed to expand on her sound with for example keyboards. On the whole, it is mostly electric guitar and Aziza’s bluesy voice that carry this beautiful record, though.