Nayda! Track by Track

Fronted by an African-Moroccan woman in a traditionally male role, Bab L' Bluz are devoted to a revolution in attitude which dovetails with Morocco’s ‘nayda’ youth movement – a new wave of artists and musicians taking their cues from local heritage, singing words of freedom in the Moroccan-Arabic dialect of darija. Here, Yousra talks us through each of the songs on their debut album.

1. Gnawa Beat

Welcome to the truth that can be told without any fear.
Who tells the story of the suffering of the citizens
And history the crooks who destroy the country…

‘Gnawa Beat’ is a song that denounces the corruption and disloyal actions of certain officials, to the detriment of many societies.

2. Ila Mata

A fear that grew inside us
that has led us astray from the straight path
A disease that has affected everyone
and destroyed the earth with everything on it.

‘Ila Mata’ is inspired by the Tunisian poet Anis Shoshan. The lyrics aim to awaken the sleeping consciousness of individuals indoctrinated by racist statements and who consider some humans superior to others. It is a call to search for what can unite us instead of going towards everything that divides us.

Ila Mata (Official Video)
 

3. El Gamra

With my loved ones
With my friends
May joy fill our hearts for a long time to come
Let a smile appear on our faces
Here we forget our suffering
Only death can separate us

‘El Gamra’ means ‘the moon’. It is a festive song with a strong rhythm that invites people, in the moonlight, to break away from all negative energy. Live the trance to the maximum and use it as a therapy.

4. Glibi

This is my heart and this is its story
He loved you without any limits
The creator’s above the universe
Who decided we’d meet one day

‘Glibi’ is a love letter addressed to the beloved in the way of Mauritanian poetry called ‘Tebraa’ — the love poetry of the Sahrawi woman, also present in some regions of South of Morocco.

5. Oudelali

Love flows from heaven, drop by drop
Heals wounds and refreshes the air, my beloved
Listen and try to read between the lines,
You’re the one who stole my mind beyond my control, my beloved

‘Oudelali’ is a song about ‘true love’ — the one that transcends us.

 

6. Waydelel

Peace be upon the soul of one buried so far away.
Peace be upon the soul of him who asked the lizard who he was,
and was told that he was the prophet of God

‘Waydelel’ is a traditional Mauritanian song, arranged by Bab L’ Bluz. The text expresses an absolute love for the prophet Mohammed in the manner of khalifa Ould Eide and Dimi Mint Abba, the authors of this text.

7. Africa Manayo

Bambaraoui, Houssaoui, Foulani, Soudani
Do not allow the submission anymore
Africa Manayo

‘Africa Manayo’ means ‘Africa united’, and the song refers to the riches of Africa — Kenya’s gold, Ivorian cocoa, Libyan oil, etc. These are exploited by some of its dictators and ex-colonists, who deplete its wealth and exploit workers (including children), making the population live in extreme poverty and deplorable living conditions.

The Bambara and Haoussa are ancient African tribes evoked in traditional Moroccan Gnawa songs. Their presence in this song is a reference to any loyal African citizen who stands up against submission.

8. Yemma

Oh mother darling
You’re the woman of my heart,
O how much you have suffered
Always, you’ve been patient, you cried,
How many times have you been betrayed?
There’s so much you’ve had to endure
I love you.

‘Yemma’ is a vibrant tribute to all mothers who have devoted themselves — body and soul — to the education of their children, sometimes forgetting themselves, sometimes even allowing the intolerable.

Amazones Power: Track by Track

Arwa Haider looks at the lyrics and meaning of the songs on Les Amazones d'Afrique's second album.

 

9. El Watane

It’s not easy for me to see poverty
While you’re all wealth Africa
It’s very difficult for me
to see the slavery of humans
And you’re all patient Africa

‘El Watane’, which simply means ‘the land’, is a song that expresses an unconditional love for Africa. A land full of richness, joy, naivety, but also of much suffering. Nowadays, still stolen, still raped. ‘El Watane’ therefore speaks of slavery in its different aspects, and of the glimmer of hope that will be the determination to exterminate it.

10. Bab L’ Bluz

Welcome to all
I bring incense and benzoin for the special guests
Welcome to all
We all raise our hands
We celebrate with Bab L’ Bluz

Bab L’ Bluz is a sound inspired by the melodies of the desert as well as the practices of hospitality present in traditional and convivial societies, where doors remain open for the neighbours and where musical gatherings are always appreciated, generally around a meal where everyone is invited to play percussion, sing or dance.

Featured album

  • Nayda!

    Bab L’ Bluz

    Released 05 June 2020

    Moroccan-French power quartet, Bab L’ Bluz, reclaim the blues for North Africa. Fronted by an African-Moroccan woman in a traditionally male role, Bab L’ Bluz are devoted to a revolution in attitude which dovetails with Morocco’s ‘nayda’ youth movement – a new wave of artists and musicians taking their cues from local heritage, singing words of freedom in the Moroccan-Arabic dialect of darija.

By Yousra Mansour

Yousra Mansour is the frontwoman of Moroccan-French four-piece Bab L' Bluz.

Published on Tue, 15 September 20

Further reading

New Apple TV+ series ‘Long Way Up’ to feature music by Real World artists

Featuring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, the series follows the hugely popular 'Long Way Down'

Bab L’ Bluz & Les Amazones d’Afrique announce socially distanced shows

This will be the bands' first run of tour dates since the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

An Introduction to Late Night Laments by Tim Bowness

Tim, whose music is published by Real World, releases his new album on 28th August.

Remix Contest: ‘Love’ by Les Amazones d’Afrique

Les Amazones d’Afrique invite you to remix ‘Love’ from their new album Amazones Power