Born and raised in the Saharawi refugee camps lining the frontier between Algeria and Western Sahara, Aziza Brahim’s life has been marked by both daunting hardship and inspired will. Fleeing from these camps and the regime of political oppression that followed Morocco’s 1975 invasion of Western Sahara, as a young teenager Aziza travelled to Cuba for her secondary school studies.
The music Aziza Brahim makes reflects both the sorrow and the hope of these people. She grew up in one of those camps in the Algerian desert, along with thousands of other Saharawi who were removed from their homes in the Western Sahara. The refugee camp was the place that formed her. It lives in her every heartbeat.
She lives in exile, in Spain, and the music for Sahari («The deserts») her fifth album –her third for Glitterbeat -was written and recorded there in 2019. And while her songs remain grounded in her homeland, her gaze is increasingly global.
Sahari mixes North and South sounds on a brilliant blend of traditional and modern World Music and has been on the top of World Music Charts Europe (WMCE) in December 2019 and January 2020.