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Singer Neta Elkayam pays tribute to Moroccan Judeo heritage

Written by FDM

Singer Neta ElKayam has just released her new three-track EP, produced by musician Amit Hai Cohen. In this opus we find the cover which made her famous “Hak a mama” by Zahra El Fassia, as well as “Muhal Nensah” and “Muima”. An ode to the Judeo-Maghrebian ‘chaabi’ (popular) heritage.

Artist and singer Neta Elkayam launched her new three-track EP produced by Amit Hai Cohen. The duo explores in this new EP the bridges between pop and jazz melodies, electro sample, and rhythms from North Africa.

Neta Elkayam has already won over an international audience by lending her voice to oriental music from North Africa. She performed on the most prestigious stages, surrounded by various orchestras and high-flying musicians. She has received numerous awards including the ACUM Award and the Sami Michael Award. Moreover, she was nominated for the Ophir Oscars for her lead role in the musical ”Red Fields” (Mami), 2019.

In this EP, three tracks arranged and produced by Amit Hai Cohen show the beautiful universe of the duo. The first track, “Hak a Mama”, a classic traditional song, was first sung by the great Moroccan Jewish Sheikha Zahra El Fassia in the 1920s. Neta ElKayam sang this song for the first time on stage in Morocco in 2013, during the Festival des Andalousies Atlantiques d’Essaouira. It has since become a hit, performed ten times, and viewed on the internet by millions of people. In a hip-hop vibe, this track is released for the first time as a single.

The second one is “Muhal Nensah”, a 60s love song by musician Sliman Almagribi (Shlomo Ben Hamu). Neta and her band had performed and recorded this track in an electrojazz version for the “Indie City Jerusalem” selection. After the viral effect of this video, this track was finally released as a single.

Finally, the track, “Muima”, is based on a poem by Moshe Ben Hamu, recorded in the 1970s by singer Jasmine Almagribia. Neta appropriates it by creating in a contemporary musical atmosphere, an allegory between the abandonment of the mother and the oblivion of the language and the treasures of the past.