By Jamal Laoudi
By Jamal Laoudi
Washington, D.C. – The music scene in the Middle East has witnessed great change in the very recent years thanks to a number of Moroccan new faces who produced many new songs.
Now, the entire Middle East is singing with Moroccan tongue. Credit that to hits like but not limited to “M3alam”, “Ana Alawal”, “3tini Saki”, and “36” by Saad Lmjarrad, Hatim Amor, Zina Daoudia, and Hatim Idar.
That is all well and great but one can’t help but notice the almost anti-romance themes many of these songs carry with them. If music reflects the mood of a society, Moroccan society needs to undergo some serious soul-searching. Luckily, it is easy to find hope among the new generation of artists- Meet Abdel Kadir, an upcoming Moroccan singer and on-the-rise music producer based out of Montreal Canada. It is easy to see that there is lots of soul in his craft.
When did you discover you could sing? And how and when did you start actually producing your own music?
Abdel Kadiri: In 2000, I did gigs as a DJ at various clubs in Morocco. Then, I built my own recording studio with the basics. I had many come and use the studio. As a way for me to have fun, I decided to mess around and experiment with my own ideas for songs, so I recorded segments for my enjoyment. When my friends heard some of them, they insisted that I do full songs as they insisted that I have what it takes to give it a shot. In 2004, I released my first song entitled “Ma Gazelle.” Though not a hit, I had much fun doing that song, and it is still one of my personal favorites. Soon after, I started producing my own material for myself.
Who influenced artistically growing up?
Abdel Kadiri: My brother Bader. He does French music and has worked with many artists from the Maghreb who are household including Bilal, Reda Taliani, Zahouaniya, Hajib, and Stati. Growing up, he would play the piano and come up with melodies and such at our house. I was a witness to that quite often. Then when he would come on TV, I would think that it was the coolest thing ever. I wanted to become an artist myself. So it is through watching him that I developed the desire for becoming an artist. He was not going to help me just because I was his brother but when he listened to what could come up with, he jumped on board, and he has been a great help ever since.
What are your main challenges as an Arabic-singing-artist based out of Canada? And have you experimented signing in other languages?
Abdel Kadiri: My goal is to emulate what Khaled did with France in Canada. Make Arabic music somewhat of mainstream I Canada. I am aware that it is an uphill battle but I am hard at work. I have no work with French but I have a few project where I am fusing Arabic music with French lyrics
Have you had the chance to perform in Morocco? If no, why hasn’t that happen?
Abdel Kadiri: Morocco my motherland! No I have not had the chance to do so yet and I am not sure why. May be it is the distance. In any event, I am going to continue to work and wait for opportunities, and I am confident something will materialize sooner rather than later.
How would you assess the music scene in Morocco as you see it? Who are your favorites?
Abdel Kadiri: Moroccan music is in great shape these days. Finally, we conquered the entire Middle East and now they are singing in our tongue. That’s the up side. On the down side, it is always the same few faces non TV and such, and all songs quickly began to sound the same. There is some work to be done on this front. As for my favorites, I would have to name Saad Lmjarrad, Hatim Amour, Hoda Saad, Douzi among others.
In a big Chunk of your songs, it seems you are telling specific stories. How much of that is influenced by your own experiences?
Abdel Kadiri: In all honesty, in many of my songs, I use humor like in “Bouhatia” and “Qayd Nssa.” Nothing I have produced is persojal or represents an as[pect of my life except for the track “Mon Pere.”
What comes to mind when you hear:
– Rihanna: Simple songs can make you the biggest star.
– Hasni: Sentimental
– Celine Dion: The Diva
– Abdel Kadiri: Making waves slowly but surely.
If you are given the chance to do a duet with one person, whom would you pick and why?
Abdel Kadiri: Cheb Khaled, the king, because he is my idol. My dream is to sing beside him, and that has been the case since I was a child.
When you are in a moment of relaxation, what kind of music do you listen to?
Abdel Kadiri: Fayruz and Russian Singer Vitas.
What are your future projects?
Abdel Kadiri: I am working on a new single entitled FBI with two of the biggest producers in Morocco in Rachid Mohamed Ali and Bader Kadiri. I am planning it to be a nice song with a twist of sarcasm. In the making is also a RAI&B track with an artist from Marrakech, and two others songs, one with DJ Bachir and another with Lucile. Both are French artists.
Thank you Abdel. Last words:
Abdel Kadiri: Thank you so much for this opportunity. I want to also express my thanks and gratitude to all the people who support and listen to Abdel Kadiri. It is this support that gives me the fuel, the desire, the motivation, and the imagination to keep going, and I promise you that I will do the utmost to be the best.