Aziza Brahim & Band
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Aziza Brahim & Band

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain | Established. Jan 01, 1995 | INDIE

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1995
Band World Blues




"Various quotes from Italian reviews"

"Aziza Brahim has a beautiful voice - distant and able to express her views on different matters without ever being too sweet or forced." (7.5/10) Storia della Musica

"The voice of Aziza Brahim is incredible and the sound of the band ideally covers all parts of the Sahara Desert." Rockerilla

"The music is not only an artistic expression, but also a megaphone for the cause, narrating the drama of the people discriminated and without the state ... The voice of the people that we must listen to!" Blogfoolk -

"Various quotes from French reviews"

"Aziza Brahim gives us a melancholy trip in the heart of Western Sahara ... Arabic and Spanish mix of wandering melodies are accompanied by guitars (which sometimes uses flamenco approach) and tabla. Soft and epic landscape for everyone." Jeune Afrique

"Aziza Brahim invents a broad universe extended by (until now) an unheard tenderness ... This is the power of a young woman who fights between political struggle and intimate modulations like the late Billy Holiday." 4/5 Les Inrockuptibles

"Influenced by the Malian blues, Aziza Brahim is highlighting the emotional power of her beautiful singing that oscillates between purity and unlimited power of words and music." fip Radio

"The voice emotion of Aziza Brahim is powerful, racy, poignant and exalted. She moves the heart with her rebellious poetry." Midi libre

"Soutak is stunning with its refined implementation (acoustic guitar, electric bass, traditional percussion), which leaves the center pure as the air with Brahim's extraordinary sense of melody. One of the most actual North African female voices today, without a shadow of a doubt.” **** Mondomix -

"Various quotes from German reviews"

"The music on 'Soutak' is a fantastic mix of various musical cultures and presents African, Arab and Spanish elements, all held together by Aziza Brahim's unique voice."

"The 38-year old singer and her musician tells of the life of an exiled and marginalized people of the Western Sahara, whose people live either in refugee camps or in the diaspora - an issue that comes into the media rarely ... "Soutak" went straight to #1 on the World Music Charts." WDR5

"The modern sound of the nomadic peoples currently sounds more exciting than ever. And 'Soutak' is the best proof." ***** BR - Bayerischer Rundfunk

"Where Tamikrest, Bombino or Tinariwen approach the blues via the detour of rock music with distorted electric guitars, Aziza Brahim leads her way for blues, not on rock, but on Spanish and Latin American folk music. 'Soutak' is desert blues and the anger is intimate and fragile." Funkhaus Europa.

"Aziza Brahim is an important spokesperson for the Saharawi people in their struggle and recognition" Südwind Magazin -

"Various quotes from Nederlands reviews"

“The vocals of Brahim is one with a lot of experience , emotion and feeling , making it quite arrives. That and also because of the predominantly acoustic accompaniment makes it so at the prestigious ‘Desert Blues’ series to which this work fits ... A profound beauty that you do not let go quickly.” Subjectivisten

“The accessible melodies and pleasant lingering cadence of the nine songs explains very well why Soutak went in the world music charts quickly.” Mixed Worldmusic -

"Various quotes from other territories"

“Her voice is evocative and melodic in equal parts, her career will hopefully rise soon.” Afribuku

"The curious world music fans will discover a lot on that album" Smålandsposten

Anyone who, after a long flight and a big sleep, has woken up to the foreign sound of a call to prayer and thought: "Yes, I've arrived!" will be on the same wavelength.

Soutak is stunningly rich desert blues, and Brahim's lyrical content deserves this platform. Mail & Guardian -

"Various quotes from USA reviews"

“Aziza’s haunting vocals at times recall those of Arabic fusion diva Natacha Atlas, with a mood that captures both desert bleakness and uplifting triumph.” **** The Epoch Times

"Aziza Brahim has created a CD of heartrending beauty which speaks to the plight of refugees everywhere without descending into the mire of politics. Instead of pointing fingers or blaming anybody, she has focused on the results of the world ignoring oppressed people everywhere. While this impressive in itself, Soutak is also an example of the simple and elegant way in which musical traditions can be combined and blended to create a sound which doesn’t compromise or insult anyone’s culture. There aren’t many people who speak for the voiceless among us, but here is one record which does so with intelligence and integrity." Empty Mirror

“This album makes a strong political statement, but don’t listen to it because of that. Listen to it because the songs are beautiful.” (4.25/5) Spectrum Culture -

"Various quotes from UK reviews"

"More than fulfils the promise of her debut ... This one puts Ms Brahim in the desert blues premier league." fRoots

"Like her people's cause, Aziza Brahim deserves recognition." **** Songlines (Top of the World album)

"Soutak sets her commanding voice against the fluid, bluesy Spanish-infected guitar work of the Malian Kalilou Sangare and the central pulse of Brahim’s own tabal, a Saharan hand-drum." **** Financial Times

"Through her music, she is trying to re-awaken awareness in this seemingly forgotten conflict. Brahim has a sonorous voice with just a touch of desert grit, accompanied here by an acoustic band of guitars, electric bass, percussion and tabal, the Saharawi hand drum ... Hers is certainly a voice worth hearing." **** Evening Standard

"It reflects the sadness and frustration of a people denied but, delivered with such indefatigable intent and rich beauty, also contains seeds of hope and glimmers of optimism that will never be fully extinguished.." **** musicOMH

"Aziza's powerful voice [is] at the forefront." The Quietus

"[An] arresting album" ***** New Internationalist

"At times, Soutak is as beautifully sparse as the landscape it represents. The tabal, a large hand drum, provides the only instrumental backing. More frequently, however, Soutak takes on a subtle lushness that brings together licks of the Spanish guitar with Malian-style desert blues ... Soutak is comprised of stunningly rich desert blues and Brahim’s lyrical content deserves this platform." Think Africa Press

"This beautiful acoustic album transcends cultural bound-aries ... with a mood that captures both desert bleakness and uplifting triumph." **** The Epoch Times

"It is an intensely personal recording, yet while the focus of Aziza Brahim’s creativity is bound up with her own identity, she embraces universal values and has an international approach ... there is the space for Brahim’s dignified voice to take centre stage and deliver nine songs that are at once noble, uncompromising and subtly inventive ... This sensational CD deserves the widest possible exposure – as does, it can be argued, the 40-year cause of the Saharawis people." African Business magazine

"Aziza Brahim is a singer who has cleverly fused her indigenous musical heritage with neighbouring Malian acoustic blues and Spanish flamenco." 4/5 UKVibe

"Soutak - a voice for the voiceless - tells of injustice, oppression, loss and resistance, eloquently and poetically expressed ... The vocals are central and authoritative, the melodies memorable, and the band of acoustic guitar, bass and percussion (from Mali and Spain) solid and supportive." **** The Irish Times

"There are few albums that will affect you the way that Soutak does. Original and gorgeous..." 9/10 Louder Than War

"The song ‘Julud’, is a moving tribute dedicated to Aziza's mother and reflects her unyielding faith in the Saharawi political struggle." Nubiart Diary

"Serene and subtly sung, the choral, almost desert gospel hymns take time to unfurl their charms, so be patient. Once again Glitterbeat and Eckman have a classic world music crossover on their hands." Monolith Cocktail blog -


2008 Mi Canto (EP)
2011 Wilaya (OST)
2012 Mabruk
2014 Soutak



Aziza Brahim (1976) was born and raised in the Saharawi refugee camps in the Tindouf region of Algeria where her family settled in late 1975, after fleeing from the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara. Growing up in the severe conditions of these desert camps, Aziza discovered music was both a source of entertainment and a natural way to express and communicate her personal emotions and thoughts of resistance.

When she was 11 years old, she journeyed to Cuba to pursue her secondary school studies. There she experienced a different sort of economic and political crisis during the so-called Special Period that began in the early 1990s.

After graduating from secondary school in Cuba, Aziza planned to study for a Bachelors degree in music but that particular year academic scholarships were not offered in that field. Though disappointed by this rebuff, she returned to the refugee camps near Tindouf, committed to self-education and the development of her own musical expression. In 1995 she won the 1st National Song Contest held as part of the RASDs National Culture Festival. She then joined the National Saharawi Music Group and toured Mauritania and Algeria. Two years later, she participated in the European Tour of the Saharawi group Leyoad.

Settling in Spain in the year 2000, she continued to pursue her musical vision. In 2005, she collaborated with the Spanish Latin jazz band Yayabo. In 2007 she founded her own band, Gulili Mankoo (a play on Hassania and Wolof words that means: United Expression), a musical collective with musicians from different musical backgrounds that experimented with the fusion of traditional Saharawi music and contemporary styles like rock, funk and blues. Out of this project two recordings were released the E.P. Mi canto (2008) and the full-length album Mabruk (2012), both by the French label Reaktion.

In 2009, Aziza began collaborating with the Basque Txalaparta band, Oreka TX, creating music for an ambitious audiovisual show Nomadak TX. In the same year, she was a finalist for the international Freedom to Create Prize (

In 2011, she participated in Pedro Prez Rosado's film Wilaya as both a supporting actress and as the composer and performer of the soundtrack. It was awarded at the Mlaga Spanish Film Festival with the Silver Biznaga prize for the best film soundtrack.

Aziza Brahim has just released her new album Soutak (Glitterbeat, 2014) her third album, a stark, acoustic document where she is joined by a small group of musicians from both the Barcelona and Malian music scenes. Soutak is as a vivid bridge between Saharawi culture and Azizas passion for Malian music, and it is without question her most empowered and fluent musical journey to date.

'Soutak' already topped the World Music Charts Europe (WMCE) twice (March and April 2014).

Aziza Brahim: voice, tabal, rhythm guitar

Kalilou Sangare: guitar

Nico Roca: percussions

Guillem Aguilar: electric bass

Jose Mendoza: guitar

Aziza Brahim:

Band Members