Festival launch event – Walead Ben Selim and Widad Broco/N3rdistan

Thursday 9 July, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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The event will be streamed on LAAF’s Facebook page at 7pm, Thursday 9 July. No booking required.  

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“N3rdistan the future of alternative Moroccan music”
Libération Ma 

Walead Ben Selim and Moroccan musical collective N3rdistan make visit to Liverpool Arab Arts Festival for a live performance to launch our first digital festival. 

It is the story of exiled people who have come from elsewhere with their mystical songs, unsettling text and compelling rimes. Guided by these mystical tunes and the abrasive flow by the charismatic Walead Ben Selim, N3rdistan elaborates a resolutely bold fusion, which is unusual, and serenely “avant gardist”. 

Between rock, trip hop, electro, oriental-beat with world influences, this quartet mixes with ease digital power, ancestral Arabic poetry, the targeted singing intermingling here and there with the melodies of a Qanoon and African Keys. Without falling into the trap of ethnic-electro this firey sonorisation serves as an engine to this group producing the most highly musical journey of the moment. 

N3rdistan is today producing an exciting show, which is on the border between Oriental beat and Electro-urban, using Ethnic music notes on personal texts and famous freedom poets (Mahmoud Darwich, Gibran Khalil, Nizar Qabbani …) tweaking world samples and sounds, questioning the meaning of life or digital exile. N3rdistan incites the discovery of new musical horizons.

Walead Ben Selim biography 

Born in Casablanca in 1984, Walead Ben Selim was a bright and inquisitive student who rebelled from childhood. At school he founded with Houssine otherwise Wu-Sen, one of the first rap group of Morocco, ‘Thug-gang” joined by Widad Broco the first women rap artist of the Arabic world, which then became  “TG Crew”, a dozen groups playing rap, dance, Graff. Moroccan rap was thus at his beginning and Thug Gang played a critical and abrasive hip-hop, oscillating between the need for limits, and social uprising. With time they became the flag bearers for their friends but also for the Moroccans youth suffering from lack of liberty and new forms of artistic expression. Together they won the ‘tremplin’ for young musicians in 2001 and the Moroccan hip-hop championship. 

In 2011 after travelling and cultural exchanges with Africa, Asia, and Europa, Walead called upon Nidhal JAOUA a multi-instrumentalist to create a digital synopsis of his musical experiences to build the foundations of the group with Widad, joined by Cyril Canerie a studio drummer, of Internationnal renown and Khalil Hentai (Epi), the group became finally formed in May 2014 before being selected for the “Inouîs de printemps de Bourges” in 2015. 

Trans generational and transgender, appealing and incredibly mystical, N3rdistan is on the frontier of electronic music, rap and Arabic poetry. On stage, N3rdistan is a ball of energy, which get stronger as the minutes go by, the melodies sometimes aggressive, sometimes gentle are sung by unusual voices in which the ease surprises and destabilises, an explosion of colours.

“An electro-urban project with its tools in Oriental inspiration. They show their determination to remember actions by past generations in causes, which are still topical today. N3rdistan ‘s message is timeless”

Read an interview from 2018 in The New Arab 


This event is in partnership with MARSM UK


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