Voiced with deep passion and grace, Aziza Brahim’s music adeptly travels the expanse between her Western Saharan roots and Barcelona, the European cosmopolis where she now lives. Aziza is both a contemporary sonic poet and a prominent and eloquent spokesperson for the Saharawi people and their ongoing struggle for recognition and justice. Born and raised in the Saharawi refugee camps lining the frontier between Algeria and Western Sahara, Aziza’s life has been marked by both daunting hardship and inspired will, having to flee from these camps and the regime of political oppression that followed Morocco’s 1975 invasion of Western Sahara.
Music has been Aziza’s passion since she was a small girl and after travelling to Cuba to study, she returned to the Saharawi camps in Algeria and began singing and playing in different musical ensembles, a process that continued when she moved to Spain in the year 2000. Aziza’s two most recent albums, Soutak (‘Your Voice’, 2014) and Abbar el Hamada (‘Across the Hamada’, 2016) both topped the World Music European Top Ten charts. In recent years she has performed extensively, appearing at major festivals and venues including the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Royal Albert Hall, and WOMAD.
Aziza will appear in Oxford presenting her new album, which draws connections between the old Saharawi culture and the influences of the different cultures and countries where she has lived over the years.