My Music Discoveries in Morocco – for dummies

khaled-aicha_s_1 tinariwen

Traveling broadens the mind. In many ways. Traveling to Morocco broadened my ”musical frame of mind”. I discovered music that I never heard when following western music channels. Anytime I listened to my newly discovered music back home, I felt like traveling again. Back to sunny Morocco.
Both welcome experiences, right? I listed some of my favorite songs below, so they can take you on sunny and exciting adventures too. Possibly you went on an online music expedition already, but you didn’t know where to start and what artists to look for. Then you might find my list useful as a start.

I categorized different styles, so there might be something here for you too. Find out for yourself and share your opinion!
(Note however that this music is listened to in Morocco, but not necessarily Moroccan!)


The Basics
Some of them heard so often in the streets, cafe’s, restaurants, bars, shisha lounges or in Moroccan households, that I’d almost consider these songs national anthems. They’re poppy, cheerful and perfect to sing along:

Khaled C’est la Vie:

-Do you remember that beautiful song Aicha from Outlandish (2003)? The original versions in French and Arabic was sung by Khaled in 1996. I thought the version of The Outlandish was beautiful, but especially the original version in French rocks:

-Not tired of Khaled yet? Listen to more oriental sounding Wahrane Wahrane from the album Sahra:


Gnawa Hippie Style
My favorite genre. Gnawa music is very rhythmic and danceable, sometimes even hypnotic or trance inducing. Rock and reggae are great when mixed with this Mauritanian folklore. The music I listed below seem perfect for long car drives, a sunny day at the beach or relaxation session with friends.


-Gnawa Diffusion:

1001 –Arabpop-nights
Lutes, violins, tablas, qanons, dreamy voices, the ingredients for the most romantic Arabic pop. For some listeners it takes time to get used to the sticky sweetness of his genre, for some it’s love at first sight. Let me know your opinion. Here’s a list of my loves at first sight. Feel free share yours below.

Samo Zaen: and

Marwan Khoury: and /watch?v=2dmfBzWPQaw

Wael Jassar:

Fadel Shaker:

Mohammed Mounir:

-Amr Diab:

Maher Zain:


Nancy Ajram: and


Nancy Ajram


Done with the pop but did you like the oriental melodies? Then you might like orchestra’s like this one:

Orchestre National de Barbes:

My journey just begun, so much more to discover. I’ll share my favorite new discoveries in a later post. For now I’d like to know your opinion! What artist or genre did you like most? What was absolutely not your cup of tea? Share your opinion with us below, and post your favorite artists and songs!



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