Exclusive Walead Ben Salim / N3rdistan Playlist

A gift from N3rdistan to Liverpool – N3 to Liverpool is an exclusive playlist compiled and curated by the iconic musical collective helping you explore the very best in emerging Arab music.

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival audiences will remember N3rdistan from their virtual visit to the festival to launch the 2020 digital edition. The live performance by Walead Ben Selim and Moroccan musical collective N3rdistan was an introduction for many music fans to the mystical tunes and the abrasive flow by the charismatic artists.

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.

Listen to their exclusive playlist here

Walead says

Here we are at the dawn of a new world. Here we are building a new art, new vibration at the crossroads, we are building cultural bridges at a time when others would like to see us separated. Here between a cha3bi rock and an electrified classical Arabic, a new scene emerges from the rubble, a new breath carries away the dust and our scenes are detached from codes and barriers. The only label we want is the label of free music and ‘we are still here and the dream continues ‘.”

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.