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From Western Sahara
Aziza is a Saharawi from Western Sahara, born in a refugee camp in Algeria. At the age of 11 Aziza received a scholarship to study in Cuba where she spent seven years, before abandoning her studies in order to dedicate herself to music.
She won the first prize in a national song competition in a cultural festival of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic - the self-proclaimed Saharawi state, exiled in the refugee camps and recognised by over 80 countries. Aziza did her first recordings for the Saharawi National Radio in the refugee camps and from there came her first tour outside the camps in Mauritania and Algeria as part of the National Saharawi Music Group.
In 1998 the spanish record company Nubenegra publish the trilogy "Saharauis", including two songs from her. After that she completed several tours with the National Saharawi Music Group "Leyuad" in Europe from 1998 to 2004. In 2005 she made her first experience mixing the traditional music from Western Sahara with another musics, with the Latin Jazz music group Yayabo. Now she's working with her new group, Gulili Mankoo (a mix of Western Sahara music, rhythms from Senegal and Blues & Rock music) in her new forthcoming record.
Aziza's family come from El Aaiun, the capital of the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara. Aziza's mother fled the Moroccan invasion in 1975 and survived the 1976 Moroccan bombardments of napalm against the Saharawi civilians who had sought refugee deep in the eastern desert of Western Sahara. Aziza never met her father who stayed behind the occupied Western Sahara and went on to remarry and have children, brothers and sisters that Aziza has never met, due to the 2500 km long wall in the Western Sahara, that divides every Saharawi family and was built by the Moroccans to defend their occupation.
(Biography taken from http://www.myspace.com/azizabrahim
Aziza Brahim Maichan es una cantante y percusionista saharaui nacida en los campamentos de refugiados de la Hammada de Tinduf, Argelia. Además de interpretar sus propias composiciones, la intención de Aziza Brahim es poner música a los poemas de su abuela, Ljadra Mint Mabruk, conocida como la poetisa del fusil. De esta manera quiere rendirle tributo y reivindicar su voz como una de las poetas imprescindibles de la cultura de su país.
Los versos honestos de Ljadra Mint Mabruk, revolucionarios política y poéticamente (que resisten al olvido y al silencio porque siguen teniendo vigencia y porque se siguen cantando de manera decidida y valiente),sirven de hilo conductor a un espectáculo musical en el que la conciencia y la seriedad no están reñidas con la diversión ya que es posible tanto disfrutar con los matices de las sonoridades de música y texto como bailar animadamente los temas del repertorio.