Elenco Artisti


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Bab L’Bluz (literally “The Door of the Blues“) is a Franco-Moroccan group formed in 2018 in Marrakech. The band is inspired by traditional music Gnawa and Hassani to which combines rock, psychedelic sounds and blues.
The project was born from the meeting of the charismatic Yousra Mansour (voice, awisha, percussion and guembri), who grew up in the city of El Jadida on the Atlantic coast of Marcocco listening to the Lebanese diva Fairouz, the Gnawa music of nearby Essaouira, but also Janis Joplin, Oumou Sangaré and Erykah Badu, and the French Brice Bottin (guembri, guitar, percussion and choirs) in Marrakech in early 2017. Both fans of Gnawa music, decided to learn together to play the Guembri, a plucked string instrument of the musical tradition of those peoples. They wanted to combine their influences finely, respecting the analog world that emerged in the 60s and 70s, thus creating a new repertoire of 10 songs.

Since 2018 the line-up has seen the participation of two musicians from Lyon, Hafid Zouaoui (drums and choirs) and Jérôme Bartolome (flute, percussion and choirs) with whom the group has performed at international festivals such as Arabesque, Boulevard, Rock Am Bach, The Peristyle, the Underground Opera of Lyon, ART concerts.

“More than anything else we are a rock band”, declares frontwoman Yousra, who sings, howls and improvises fulgori with her awicha (small guembri), like some barbarian warrior goddess.

With Nayda! the debut of the formidable Moroccan-French quartet, produced for the prestigious Real World, Bab L’Bluz spread the fruits of their electrifying mezcla in which converge gnawa rhythms, chaabi music and Hassani, Berber and sub-Saharan elements they meet, happily, funky, rock and blues.
Acclaimed by Mojo in the Top 10 world albums of the year, Songlines among the best albums of 2020, New York Times, Vogue Arabia, BBC, Le Monde, Financial Time, Pan African Music, Uncut, Radio Nova and others, in 2021 won the Songlines Music Awards in the Fusion category.

In the pressing track that opens the album, Gnawa Beat, the song denouncing corruption («Welcome to the truth that can be said without fear»), intersects with the harmonics of flute and guitar riffs of desert blues atmosphere.

In Darija, Arabic-Moroccan dialect, “Nayda” means “raised” but also “amused” is the name of the new artistic and cultural youth movement that emerged in Morocco around the new millennium where the values of local heritage and freedom are shared.
Sensual, visceral and immediate, Nayda! is devotion to unity, revolution and the restructuring of the status quo.

“Bab L’Bluz concentrates in Nayda! all the ardor of its hybrid creativity”


Of great temperament and teacher, Yousra’s mother encouraged her daughter to follow her dreams, although at the beginning it was not easy to realize in the environment in which she lived, says Yousra: “There was resistance because I was a girl. All of us Bab L’Bluz believe that art can open minds and change people’s way of thinking. That’s what we try to do”.

It follows “Gamra“, a song that praises the night star for its healing powers (in Arabic el Gamra means the moon), is a theme that invites to dance and the liberating trance.

The eponymous track “Bab L’ Bluz” worthily closes the album, transporting us to a welcoming party in the desert, where the sacred hospitality of the communities is manifested, officiated by song and dance. Basically, Bab L’Bluz, a combo with a strong personality, produces an amazing record.