Monday, August 11, 2008


On Saturday, June 21st, I attended the inaugural year of the Maroc Hit Parade Festival, which is sponsored by Hit Radio, in Rabat. Top to bottom, it was the best one-day lineup of any festival I saw in Morocco; some of the artists included H-Kayne, Fnaire, Darga, Bigg, Casa Crew, and Hoba Hoba Spirit

There was a somber atmosphere because a week earlier, the DJ of the hip hop act Fnaire, Hicham Belqas, died in a car accident in Fes. I actually went to Fnaire’s performance in Fes the night before Hicham died. At one point during the festival, all of the artists gathered on a stage for a moment of silence in remembrance of Hicham.

Hoba Hoba Spirit headlined the festival; because there were so many other acts, Hoba didn’t finish their set until almost two in the morning. Of course, Hoba played a great show; but the highlight of the evening was the performance by Darga, another rock-reggae-gnaoua fusion band from Casablanca. Amine Belghiti, the lead singer of Darga, actually performed a couple of songs with Hoba. A very cool collaboration indeed…

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