Man, I can’t remember the last time I did a Special Ladies post, it must be over a year ago.
Anyway, I just remembered that I’ve been meaning to put the spotlight on this one for absolute yonks, the remarkable and unrivalled Queen of Moroccan Chaabi, Hajja Hamdaouia.
She is for me one of the most amazing Moroccan artists that I’ve ever come across. I only discovered her myself around 4 years ago. Each time I go to Morocco, I always come back with some new found tapes of her stuff. I’ve started to develop a bit of an obsession with collecting her music ever since I first heard her stuff.
She sings in a style of music called Al’ ai’ta which is a Chaabi style of music. “Chaabi” basically means “popular” and refers to a variety of musical styles, just like the term “pop” music in the West.
This is music, which is usually sung in “Darija” which is Moroccan colloquial Arabic and tells of love, loss, lust and the realities of daily life.
I could not find much information on her to share with you but basically she started in or about the 1950’s and made the Al ai’ta style of Chaabi very succesful.
She also changed people’s perceptions of Chaabi music from a previously thought of immoral form of entertainment, to an established and respected art form.
My respects to a GREAT lady and one of my all time favourite female vocalists!
I’ve never seen or read anything about her on the web, aside from unofficial specialist sites dedicated to bootleg Moroccan music. So I thought it was time I shared one of my secrets with you.
Listen to some glorious sounds and then download some.
Grab some freebies HERE