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Berber Moroccan Singer: Najat Aatabou

Najat Aatabou

Najat Aatabou of Berber heritage is a sensational singer who has remained firmly traditional in her use of musical instruments but forward looking in her approach towards chaabi. Aatabou has 25 albums to her name and enjoys immense popularity, in Morocco and also among Moroccan communities abroad. Proud of her Berber heritage, Aatabou uses traditional Berber rhythms and is outspoken in her lyrics which address the inequality between men and woman as well as the injustice of traditional family rules. She also writes beautiful love songs. Aatabou composes her songs in her native language Tashelhit  but then translates them into Arabic or French.

Aatabou’s first release J’em a marre (I am sick of it) sold 450,000 copies. Her second release on cassette, Shouffi Rhirou (Look for Another Lover), and her subsequent releases sold over half a million copies. She is now a huge star throughout the Maghreb  and fills large venues all over Europe. 

 The Chemical Brothers scored a worldwide hit with Calvanize in 2005 with over one million copies sold, which includes Just Tell Me The Truth by Najat Aatabou. Aatabou writes her own songs and tries to sketch a fair picture of Moroccan women while defending their rights with the goal of changing prevailing views and age old perceptions.

 

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Alecia Cohen

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