On Friday March 3 the Sheikhs Shikhats & B’net Chaabi drop their eponymous debut album. The kick-off for a tour in Brussels, Flanders and the Netherlands. With the release, Laïla and her colorful extra large ensemble pay tribute to the shikhats and ghanayats, singers who fought for freedom of expression in 19th-century Morocco through popular ‘chaabi’ songs. Inspired by such Maghrebi musical traditions, the Sheikhs Shikhats & B’net Chaabi offer an original and exciting mix of jazz, urban ethno and traditional Moroccan songs.
To accompany her in this extraordinary creation, Laïla called on Laurent Blondiau for the musical direction. Together they take us on a journey into their personal musical universe, where one can also recognise unique and timeless elements of the traditional chaabi repertoire, such as repetition, lament or rhythms evoking trance. As the cherry on the cake, Laïla invited singer-composer Olivier Thomas to give the voices a new and contemporary dimension.