Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Najat Tazi - Ya Saqi


Here's a swell rai album from singer Najat Tazi. This dates to 1992 or '93. Najat hails from the region of Taza in northeastern Morocco. The internet boasts dozens of her albums on international streaming platforms like YouTube, Spotify, etc. On some she sings in Riffian Tamazight (Tarrifit), and on others she sings in Moroccan Arabic. Despite this prolific output, I can find almost no details of her life or career online.

The one short article I found relates that she was born in the town of Aknoul, north of Taza, began her career singing backup for many artists, gained initial notoriety singing cover versions of songs by rai singers Cheb Khaled and Mimoun al Oujdi, and has subsequently recorded more than 50 albums. The article also links to a 2020 video interview, so if you know Tarrifit and find that she said something noteworthy, please let me know! [1] 

She performed at the big Mawazine festival in Rabat in 2016.

This album has some great early rai grooves and some unusual keyboard sounds. And Najat's voice is powerful. Dig this opening track:

Najat Tazi نجاة التازي
Fassiphone cassette 07/4 فاسيفون

c. 1992-93

A1 Ya Saqi يا ساقي
A2 Tkherrejti Âla Ouladi تخرجتي علی ولادي
A3 Démarrez ديماري
B1 Kounti Ghalia Kifache Rkhesti كنتي غاليا كيفاش رخصتي
B2 Zine Âlah Iseddou Âlia Lbibane الزين علاه يسدو عليه البيبان
B3 Ouelli Lia Ya Lâziz ولي ليا يالعزيز

320 | FLAC

[1] Najim Al-Sabaa (نجيم السبع). "Gzennaya stars around the world: The capable artist Najat Al-Tazi (نجوم اكزناية عبر العالم | الفنانة المقتدرة نجاة التازي)".

Interview excerpt on YouTube:

Full interview on RADAS TV program "Thawra n Rif":

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Capstan Keep a-Spinning - End The Occupation

I'll have some new old music to share in a few days. For the moment, here's an update to some old music I shared before.

When I first visited Morocco in 1992, Nass el Ghiwane had just released an album whose opening track "Intifada" commemorated the uprising in Palestine. The following year, the Oslo Accords seemed to indicate movement toward justice and reconciliation, but it was not to be. Now here we are thirty years later, seemingly further than ever from justice. 

I shared this album back in 2011. I've added a FLAC link in the original post. And here's the album as a YouTube playlist:

Keep your capstans a-spinning, thanks for visiting, and be well.  ❤️✊❤️🎵❤️