Aziza Brahim

She grew up in a refugee camp in the desert of Algeria, along with thousands of others forced to leave their homes in Western Sahara. Inspired by her grandmother, Aziza Brahim began to sing and play music as a little girl. Eventually, in various groups that toured internationally, refugee life would become a recurring theme of Aziza Brahim’s beautifully melancholic music. She sings in Hassaniya Arabic but also in Spanish about the injustices that people in the camps experience–not just the Western Saharan people but all the millions of refugees on the planet. As an 11-year-old, she was given the opportunity to study in Cuba, and was infleunced by rhythms and melodies that can be discerned in her music to this day. In recent years, Aziza Brahim’s perspective has become more international. She lives in Spain now, and collaborates with guitarist Amparo Sánchez on Sahari, an album where her own traditions are mixed with electronic global sounds.