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Hamid Al-Zahir, pioneer of popular music in Marrakech

The exhibition-playlist n°2, Hamid Al-Zahir, pioneer of popular music in Marrakech, has been on Youtube since October 12th.

The exhibition-playlist n°2, Hamid Al-Zahir, pioneer of popular music in Marrakech, has been on Youtube since October 12th.

Hamid Zahir (حميد الزاهر) or Hamid Ben Taher, was an oud player, a popular Moroccan singer, and an iconic figure in Marrakech singing. His musical playing was unique: he drew his inspiration from the musical heritage of his native city, namely the daqqa and gnaoua styles, to give his songs a festive air.

In the 1950s Hamid Zahir started producing his own songs. Recorded in the studios of the Sabah production company, songs such as "AwinAwin", "Rouah Li Bgha Yzour", and "Lila a Sidi Aâmara" quickly became big popular hits. These songs, which were copied by singers all over Morocco, paved the way for Marrakesh's musicians to achieve national success.

In the mid-70s, Hamid Zahir was already a national star. Songs such as the famous "Lalla Fatima" and "Ach Dak Tmchi Lzine" went beyond national borders, having success under such unexpected skies as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. They earned the author a number of international tours that were to take him around the world, with concerts in places as far away as Japan and Australia.

Closer to home, Hamid Zahir also became the darling of the North African public. In Tunisia, where he frequently travelled, his success was such that he was decorated by the Tunisian president of the time, Habib Bourguiba. Visit the second playlist of the Museum of Music on Youtube - enjoy the discovery or re-discovery of this music!

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