Rabat – Moroccan DJ Khalil Belkas, widely known by his stage name “DJ Van,” performed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Saturday night. He performed a dazzling show in front of a large audience whose attention he captivated with his beats.
In a statement to Maroc Arabe Presse, the DJ expressed his pride to perform for an Ethiopian audience and introduce them to his 2013 album, “Moroccan Touch.”
Since Morocco’s return to the African Union (AU) last January, the country has been looking to build coalitions and increase its political influence on the continent. However, DJ Van’s performance in the city of the AU’s headquarters may also demonstrate part of Morocco’s desire to expand its cultural influence, too.
“It is a national duty… It is a mission I gave myself to broadcast Moroccan music on a global scale” he says.
The Moroccan artist, producer, and composer is known for his signature mixture of Moroccan folk music and modern electro. This blend of different types of music results in an unexpected piece of art, appreciated by all generations.
The artist started his journey as a DJ during high school, his talent and dedication have led him years later to become the producer behind hits such as “Enty” by Saad Lamjarrad, “L’Ghoul” by Muslim, and “#Woman” featuring TYRANE.
In 2014, the artist was nominated for an MTV Music Award for his collaboration with Saad Lamjarrad on “Enty.”
“I’m happy, we are all happy and proud because we put Moroccan music on MTV. It was all a dream before; now, it’s [all] happening,” said DJ Van in his interview with Al Arabiya News.