Let the music play on
TOP 6 BEST MOROCCAN FEMALE SINGERS
The music created by the new generation of female Moroccan vocalists is a fusion of African, Andalusian, Amazigh, and Jewish elements, reflecting the richness and diversity of their culture. Women have historically had a significant influence on Moroccan music. All around the world, from the early 20th century, under the French occupation, to modern-day Morocco, women have expressed themselves via music.
In the northern city of Tetuan, there were Andalusian bands made of female instrumentalists, a traditional "girl band" that sang and played showing the participation of women in musical practice. Sheikhats are female musicians and dancers that can be found in rural locations. They directed bands of male musicians and occasionally sang to convey political statements. One of them was the 19th-century singer Kharboucha, who criticized both the local rulers and the French colonial authorities. She rose to prominence in Aita's music history and became a symbol of resistance.
Women's voices are a representation of authority and control in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco, and in Gnawa and Aissawa trance, women serve as the men's shadows, preparing trance ceremonies to the eerie sounds of male instrumentalists. Without them, these rituals would not take place. Moroccan music has a strong female influence.
The poignant hymn "Minefields," written by Moroccan-Canadian singer-songwriter Faouzia and John Legend, is about "what we as humans are prepared to do to reconcile with a loved one." The musician thinks that the pace of the music business has accelerated. "Music is continuously being released, so it can be challenging to strike a balance between releasing new music often and giving it the time it needs to be polished.
However, it is good to interact with fans through more frequent song releases," says the burgeoning pop artist, who was born in Casablanca and views her culture as a crucial part of who she is. "My Moroccan ancestry has undoubtedly had a significant impact on the way my voice sounds. It can be heard in my tremolo and trills, the songwriter, who has always been drawn to music that is dark, dramatic, and potent, nods.
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Ilham, a 24-year-old sultry R&B singer, and songwriter from New York says she "takes feelings and puts them in songs," and this is evident in her music as well. I didn't even know it was a style; I just thought it was my mood, so it's cool when others notice that my style is simply me, she says. The singer has been in touch with her culture since she was a baby because her mother prepares traditional Moroccan food and her father enjoys the music of the late Rai singer Cheb Hasni. She also speaks Arabic at home. Since everyone in my extended family lives in Morocco, I have visited them frequently and regularly communicate with my cousins and aunts. My culture has left its mark on me.
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3. MEANAL BENCHLIKHA
One of the most well-known musicians in Morocco is Manal Benchlikha, a 27-year-old urban pop singer, rapper, and songwriter who goes by the name Manal. She has two million followers on social media. The pop sensation is transforming the Moroccan music scene by fusing the force of tradition with an urban and contemporary sound, potent songs, and striking images, as demonstrated by her most recent single, "Niya." Sheikhat ("The wise one," referring to Moroccan popular singers and dancers) is a subject that she decided to tackle in her most recent music because, regrettably, in our culture, a Sheik is not a respected woman. She is only a romantically idealistic and naive "Niya," someone who hopes to support herself through her creative endeavors. Through this song and music video, I intended to influence people's opinions. Young Moroccan female musicians may be honest, but their routes are not simple. Today, being a woman in any sector is difficult, but I count myself fortunate that more women are taking leadership roles and holding positions of authority. I observe women in positions of authority, operating sound boards in recording studios, and holding senior positions at record labels. It is motivating," says Abir, whose song addresses societal injustice and stereotypes about Arab women. However, Mansour claims that the earth is still unstable. The position of women in these civilizations is still precarious, even though it is changing, she claims, thus it is still challenging for women to succeed in the Arab, Moroccan, and African music industries. She believes that in addition to facing the same challenges as their male counterparts in this setting, women also face additional restrictions as a result of the pervasive patriarchy in the area. Women are perpetually scrutinized and constrained in their freedom to use and control their bodies since they are frequently perceived as inferior to males, according to the author.
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4. OUM EL GHAITH
Oum El Ghaith Benessahraoui is a well-known Moroccan singer, composer, and lyricist who was born in Casablanca. Oum, a Muslim, spent her formative years singing in gospel choirs, imitating her idol Whitney Huston. Despite coming from a musical family, she chose to pursue architecture after high school. Oum, however, realized that she wanted to devote her entire life to music after receiving her diploma.
With songs in English and Moroccan Darija that were influenced by hip-hop and R&B, Oum began her musical career in the early 2000s. She has become a global superstar over the years thanks to her distinctive Gnawa-pop-jazz combination and gorgeous, velvet voice. The Soul of Morocco (2013), her third album, was the first to have international distribution. Millions of people visit her YouTube videos, and her worldwide concert tours are completely sold out.
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5. HINDI ZAHARA
Hindi Zahara is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist and Moroccan singer. Zahra was born and raised in Khouibga, Morocco, by her dancer and actress Moroccan mother. At the age of fifteen, however, she quit school and relocated to Paris to live with her father. Most Hindi songs are sung in English. Her songs are a mesmerizing fusion of jazz and world music with subtle Berber and Arabic accents. She is a brilliant performer with a captivating voice that engulfs you in her musical world.
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6. MALIKA ZARRA
Malika is a singer, songwriter, and music producer who is Moroccan-French-American. She was born in the little hamlet of Ouled Teima in southern Morocco. When Malika was a young girl, the family moved to Paris, yet her home still had a strong Moroccan cultural identity. Malika started out studying to play the clarinet before pursuing further training to become a jazz musician. She moved to New York in 2004.
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Her distinctive music combines regional Berber, Gnawa, and Chaabi sounds with the refined sophistication of French pop and jazzy rhythms and techniques. She performs songs in French, English, Berber, and Moroccan Arabic.