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Rennes, Bretagne, France | INDIE

Rennes, Bretagne, France | INDIE
Band Hip Hop World


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"the sound of generations and nations merging" - Wave Magazine

"... a work of pure emotion that needs no translation..." - New Internationalist

"... A frantic melange of Arabic classical music and hip hop..." - Mojo

"...Elnar reflects fascinating experimentations with classical Arabic music that is subtly tied into the electronic music they have forged in their hometown of Rennes..." - Mondomix

"witty, adventurous and addictive" - The Observer Music Monthly


2007 : Remixed volume one (Wikkid Records)
2006 : Elnar (Wikkid Records)
2003 : Aïwa (Wikkid Records)



The Aïwa collective was founded in 1998 by Iraqi-born brothers, Wamid and Neufalle. Raised in France, they were born with the desire to break boundaries and fuse different musical genres, like the traditional Arabic music of the brothers’ youth (Om Kalsoum, Abdel Halim Hafez, Fairuz…) with modern western sounds (hip-hop, jungle, dub). For this, they surrounded themselves with various musicians from the town of Rennes. Today, the group is structured around the two brothers and Séverine (vocals), Philippe (percussion), Gaël (saxophone and flute), Salah (keyboard) and DJ Haze (decks). The word Aïwa itself means ‘yes’ in Arabic and generally signifies affirmation or positivity.

The group’s 2002 collaboration with the Canadian label Wikkid Records marked a turnaround in their career, since it gave them the opportunity to release their first album internationally the following year (in Canada, the UK, Germany, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Egypt, UAE, Lebanon, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Algeria, Indonesia…). The group’s second album, “Elnar” (Feb 2006) shunned universal homogeneity in favour of oriental sounds and a synthesis of different current music. “Elnar” develops a more mature sound for the group and features quality collaborators (Jamalski, Anissa Derkaoui, Says de X Makeena). The two works have been set apart by the international press – notably in England, where the two albums were placed in the top ten of the prestigious Observer Music Monthly and have been played regularly by the BBC.
In 2007, an album of remixes, “Remixed Volume 1” was published, bringing the group face to face with international producers (Transglobal Underground, Cheb I Sabbah, Kasm, Maido, DJ Marrtin…). Like with their discography, the group has forged a solid reputation on the scene, with more than 200 concerts to their name, not only in France but in England - where they have played three tours since 2003 – Switzerland, Morocco, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Poland…