Aziza Brahim – Bubisher

14th March 2024 · 2020s, 2024, Music

This hypnotic slice of desert blues will resonate with anyone who likes the music of Tinariwen or Imarhan. It comes with a powerful back story too.

Aziza Brahim was born in one of the Sahrawi refugee camps in the desert region of Algeria after her mother fled the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara in 1975.

Aziza was born a year later and grew up in the harsh desert camps of the still-disputed Tindouf region – one of the planet’s longest-standing refugee camps – having never met her father, who died during the war in their homeland.

As a child she discovered music as both a source of entertainment and a natural way to express and communicate her personal emotions and thoughts of resistance and received a scholarship to study in Cuba when she was 11.

Since 2000 she has lived in Spain, first in León and later in Barcelona, and has toured Europe with the Sahrawi group Leyoad before forming her own fusion group Gulili Mankoo – a gathering of musicians from Western Sahara, Spain, Colombia and Senegal blending traditional African music with blues and rock.

She also tours with a Basque ‘txalaparta’ group called Oreka Tx. This song, Bubisher, comes from her new album Mawja, her fourth for the excellent Glitterbeat label, and is about a lucky bird in Sahrawa mythology.