Aziza Brahim “Mawja” 

March 2024 | MUSIC, 24/03

This Saharan singer was born and spent her early years in a refugee camp on the Algerian border. The ups and downs of geopolitics prevented her from meeting her father. At a young age she discovered music as a form of entertainment, but also as a means of expression and communication. After gaining recognition, she toured Europe and then settled in Spain. The granddaughter of a well-known poet, she uses her voice to convey messages, although a more universal dimension has given way to the militancy of the early days. Musically, even if a cross-fertilisation can be detected on close listening, this is the traditional African music that has contributed so much to the blues, with a tinge of the Arabo-Andalusian corpus of Mediterranean music. The mix highlights the voice and the guitars, alternately acoustic and electric. The latter are reminiscent of the music of Tinariwen. The result is clear, with a focus on the top end of the spectrum and the modulation of the voice.