- Title: MOROCCO: Popular rock band Hoba Hoba Spirit is "voice of Moroccan youth"
- Date: 15th February 2010
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) REDA ALLALI, HOBA HOBA SPIRIT BAND LEADER, SAYING: "I believe that people need music not only during the summer but all year long. Also, people do not need huge stages where they listen to the music far away from the stage and where there is a distance between the crowd and the artists. We want to bring something new to Morocco because this is common in other countries."
- Embargoed: 2nd March 2010 12:00
- Location: Morocco
- Country: Morocco
- Reuters ID: LVA5KIRV3XJ8JWJBBNC1V12AA8FQ
- Story Text: Hoba Hoba Spirit launched their latest album 'Nefs ou Niya' in style on Sunday (February 14) night in Rabat's Mohammed V National Theatre.
It was the first night of a seven-city tour taking the cult act to adoring fans around the country. The tour is unusual because most musical events in Morocco are staged during the summer. Hoba Hoba Spirit are hoping to help break this tradition.
Band leader Reda Allali told Reuters: "I believe that people need music not only during the summer but all year long. Also, people do not need huge stages where they listen to the music far away from the stage and where there is a distance between the crowd and the artists. We want to bring something new to Morocco because this is common in other countries."
The band will be performing in the Moroccan towns of Safi, El Jadida, Beni Mellal, Khouribga, Khemisset and Taza: most other bands perform only in Rabat and Morocco's major cities. The fans will pay an affordable 25 Dirhams (around 3 US Dollars) for their tickets. All proceeds will be given to an non-governmental organisation (NGO) called Mama Assia that cares for juvenile detainees in Moroccan prisons.
For their latest album, the band was sponsored to spend a month recording in the English city of Bath. Their album was produced by British guitarist Justin Adams.
Hoba Hoba Spirit's manager Hicham El Kabbaj was full of praise for Adams's influence on the band. "He is the producer for Tina Ghiwan and he also played with Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin. The most important thing for us is to bring quality to Moroccan music and to Hoba Hoba Spirit," El Kabbaj said.
The band's music is a blend of rock, metal and Moroccan folk. Their lyrics, written by Reda Allali, tackle Moroccan society's problems with a pinch of humour and self-deprecation.
This blend has made them a hit with their young fans, such as 19-year-old Mustapha Ben Aziz. He told Reuters: "Their lyrics reflect the way of thinking of the Moroccan people. Some people think that we, the young generation, are a bunch of clowns. They have a different opinion on us but in fact, we are the basis of this country because its development depends on us".
Mounia Karimi, also 19, said: "I love the messages they send us. Also, their lyrics are very beautiful. I like their presence on stage. I've watched many of their concerts. They give us a lot. They are very near to us and they listen to us."
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