“Afriques en Scènes” – Hindi Zahra & Songhoy Blues

Hindi Zahra officially launched her Moroccan tour last night in the Institut Français de Meknes and I was lucky enough to see her live and front row!

But before I talk about Hindi Zahra’s performance, let me give a shout out to the opening act which was Malian band Songhoy Blues. I don’t think anyone can say it better than their frontman “Music is universal and nothing can bring together people like music can”. From the moment they got on stage, people started standing up and dancing along to their music. Their 50-minutes-long of Songhoy music infused with Blues and Rock beats was nothing but pure pleasure. Their music while enchanting, also conveyed important messages from them challenging the Islamic rule in Northern Mali to an ode to the African Woman. They’ve opened for Damon Albarn and the Alabama Shakes in the past and will be touring Morocco as part of the Institut Français’s “Afriques en Scènes” program. I would definitely recommend checking them out!

After about 15 minutes of intermission, Hindi Zahra finally made her much awaited entrance.

I find myself at a loss for words every time I think of last night to be honest. I am in awe of her stage presence, personality, artistic ability, and beauty. While the tour was in order to promote her sophomore album “Homeland“, the obvious crowd-pleasers were none other than the singles from her first album. From Oursoul to Imik Simik, not forgetting Ahiawa and Stand-Up, Hindi managed to set the whole room on fire.

Hindi Zahra’s sophomore album: Homeland

Of course, because this is part of the Homeland Tour, almost the whole album was performed. The highlight would most likely be an extremely emotional rendition of Any Story as well as my personal favourite from the album The Moon is Full. I probably found myself in tears more times than I would like to admit throughout the whole show. Also, Hindi Zahra’s band deserve just as much recognition for their talent. She was accompanied by 2 guitarists, a bass player, one person at the keyboards/brass, drums, and my favourite: Ze Luis Nascimento playing an interesting collection of percussion instruments.

After thanking the audience for their presence and energy, they came back for an encore made up of Broken Ones and none-other than Beautiful Tango ending the show on a high note!

I could not take any pictures because 1) I was too busy fangirling, and 2) the Institut Français de Meknes prohibits the use of phones during the live performances. However, you can check out these pictures by Othman Jmad from Diapazone
http://diapazone.net/js_photo_albums/hindi-zahra-enflamme-le-pulic-meknassi/

Hindi Zahra’s Moroccan tour will carry on with:

Kenitra – May 9th

Casablanca – May 10th

Agadir – May 12th

Essaouira – May 15th (As part of the Essaouira Gnaoua Festival)

It is a show that you really don’t want to miss. You can check out the rest of her tour dates over here!

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