The 14th London African Music festival presents AZIZA BRAHIM (Western Sahara) She was born in 1976 in the Sahrawi refugee camps, in the Tindouf region of Algeria where her mother had settled in late 1975, fleeing from the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara. Her father remained in El Aaiun where he later died. Due to the Western Sahara War, Aziza never met him. At the age of 11, she received scholarships to study in Cuba, as many Sahrawi students at the time. She wanted to study music, but was rejected. She left school and returned to the refugee camps in 1995, pursuing her musical career. Since 2000 she has lived in Spain.
In 1995, she won the “1st National Song Contest”, in the National Culture Festival of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. She then joined the “National Sahrawi Music Group”, touring Mauritania and Algeria. In 1999 she returned to the refugee camps, recording a session for the Sahrawi National Radio with Touareg musicians from Tamanrasset, Algeria. Between 2001 and 2003, she toured again in Spain, France and Germany with Leyoad. In 2005, she collaborated with the Spanish latin jazz band Yayabo. In 2007 she created the group Gulili Mankoo, composed of musicians from Western Sahara, Spain, Colombiaor Senegal, mixing traditional African music with blues and rock, recording with them in 2008 her first solo work, the EP”Mi Canto”. In 2009 she collaborated on a song of the v.v.a.a. rap EP “Interrapcion – Crisol 09”, and one song from her EP was featured in the compilation album “Listen to the Banned”. Since 2009, Aziza Brahim has been regularly touring Spain and France with the Basque txalaparta group Oreka Tx, in the “Nömadak Tx en directo” tour. In 2011, she gets involved in the Spanish film Wilaya, composing, producing and interpreting the original soundtrack, as well as acting for the first time in a film.
She has released five well received albums – Mi Canto (2008), OST Wilaya (2011), Mabruk (2012), Soutak (2014), and Abbar el Hamada (2016).
Tonight she features songs from the new CD “Abbar el Hamada (2016)” and makes a welcome returns to the festival which kicks starts her international journey in 2009. Tonight hear one of the world’s greatest singers in London.