Why Is Google Doodling Moroccan Singer El Hamdaouia?
A Chaabi musician is being celebrated throughout the Google Doodle searches known as Haja El Hamdaouia. She was a Moroccan singer who inspired several generations with her innovative style of singing the chaabi music.
Born in 1930 in Casablanca, she grew in a musical household. Her inspiration was her father who often hosted performances at their premises. Music was always in the air. The next step was to take theatre classes. It was here that she was fascinated by chaabi music. This is a fusion between urban and rural Moroccan folk song.
By the early 1950s, her style of performance shifted to el aita al marsaouiya, a sub-genre of chaabi music that includes poetic lyrics and blues-like melodies, which suited her powerful voice. El Hamdaouia performed for more than six decades, and headlined festivals around Morocco until the late 2000s. Her influence is still felt widely across the chaabi music genre.
She died in Rabat on April 5, 2021 at the age of 91. She was considered an iconic singer of her times. The musical style is also translated into the “call” or “cry,” in which performers sing about a cause. In the time of colonization, singers or prominent sheikhat used al Aita to attack colonizers with the lyrics, calling on them to leave the country.
El Hamdaouia was also known for her unique appearances on stage and she was inseparable from her “bendir,” a big hand frame drum or “taarija,” a membranophone.
The artist was famous for her classic hairstyles and colorful caftans on stage. She was also one the rare ones to perform in from of an orchestra. Google has continued to celebrate art and artists in many parts of middle east throughout the last few years. It quietly doodles the names that stick around on the death or birth anniversary of the individual.