“silent music” is spoken of

It was in one of Rabat’s poorest districts that Anïa – “silent music” in the Amazigh language – grew up with her parents and two brothers. In the 1970s, even though her father listened to rock music and didn’t hesitate to turn up the volume when in the car with his daughter, music was rarely a presence in the family. What’s more, when she arrived in France, at the age of 8, Anïa really started listening to music: Lorie, Jennifer… before getting into rock/metal a few years later. ” I live on 94 in Arcueilsaid Ania. I don’t speak French. All my classmates laughed at me. Every time I come home, I say to my father: you immediately bring me back to Morocco, I can’t stay here. Then I thought about learning French and after 3 months I was able to communicate with my classmates. My second year was the first in class, and I started dreaming there: I wanted to go to a polytechnic school. »

After spending three years in France, Anïa’s father told her they were going back to Morocco: ” It was traumatic for me to come back to Morocco, to rehabilitate myself with the people here because I left immediately in public schools (rates of which have dropped considerably, According to the official study, NDA). I started to have a spirit of rebellion and revolution against my father and my family. I was angry with them and took revenge by not ensuring my studies. I was such a fool, because I paid for the busted pot. To escape, Anïa spends a lot of time in front of the computer. Since 2012, he’s been exchanging songs with a group of friends who met on Facebook, getting together on the online game League Of Legends: ” I discovered electronic music by listening to EDM or Dance Music, it’s a bit commercial, but I really like it, it’s new to me. No lyrics, not too many instruments, it’s purely electronic. And from 2015/2016, I started going to parties almost every weekend: in Marrakech, Essaouira, Rabat, Casa… I was always there. Until it’s not enough for me to go dancing. »

From the dance floor to the turntable

Currently, Anïa leaves home and lives in Casablanca, where she works in IT development at Dell. It doesn’t have a turntable, it does with Tractor (software that mimics a digital turntable on his computer) that the Moroccan artist became familiar with the mix, and enriched his musical repertoire: ” Whenever I find a label, I stay from 6pm to 4am listening to all the sounds referenced on Discogs, while I have a second job “.

It wasn’t until October 2018, at the age of 26, that Anïa touched the mixing table for the first time at an evening hosted at La Table du Reservoir (Rabat). ” Before, in the evening I was always behind the DJs to analyze what they were doing. And after that, I watched tutorials on youtube to understand what each button is for. Then when I started mixing at night, I learned from my mistakes. There were also several artists who gave me advice, unfortunately very few, but they helped me a lot. »

Sometimes supported, but often lonely, even discouraged by men from the music world in her attempts to learn, Anïa made a name for herself on the Moroccan scene by mixing electronic sounds, sour bass lines, breaks and aerial melodies. From rock/metal to Amazigh, through touches of acid and post/punk, appearances are expected and scheduled for more events. The most recent was the dance and star set at the L’Boulevard festival in Casablanca, 2022 edition. A landmark event which paradoxically marked a long break in his DJing career.

deep rest

I left my job at Dell à Casa and the Djing scene, because I wanted to get out of this capitalist system. It destroys my sanity. I saw my family suffer from being under the middle class. Going to a 200 euro party or festival (monthly minimum wage around 300 euros in Morocco, NDA) for a list that isn’t worth the money… it just doesn’t interest me. I was really looking for the spirit of raves, sharing, love… And I also noticed that this DJing experience filled my ego: I started playing with my image on social networks even though I’m an introvert …“.

Fed up with the ambient machismo in the DJ world, with evenings often reserved for the wealthiest and with audiences that are sometimes more drug-influenced than experiencing sound, Anïa prefers to focus on the essence of music and its cathartic effects. : When I’m depressed, I just have to listen to a happy song and I start to feel joy. This had an amazing effect on me, I researched it: there is a practice called psychoacoustics. It studies the impact of sound waves on organs. And it shows that sound in general has a big impact on the brain, it can change the way we see and feel. There is even music therapy that heals. So when I see people using music for useless purposes, I get disappointed.“.

Now living in a village by the sea, near Agadir, Anïa is building a cocoon for herself. Surrounded by his girlfriend and his cat, he devotes himself to his favorite activities: wood construction, gardening and music sessions, herbal tea in hand… he agrees with a lifestyle far healthier than offered in the middle of the night : ” Before that I also got into drugs, parties, a rebellious spirit that prevented you from seeing things as they are… then you realized that you have to work on yourself to get ahead in life and help people. I’m trying to refocus on myself, seeing how I can make money in a way that’s compatible with my sanity and values. Help my family, and once I’m ready, I can pass it on to other people who want to start over, like me. »

© Hamza Rochdi

This transmission project already has a name: “Behind the Curtain”, and it ” will aim, explained Anya, to promote female underground artists of the Moroccan scene, who are not privileged to put their passion into practice and share it with the public. Then I will lead a Djing workshop for people who want to learn this musical exercise “. This desire continued from the artist Stranger Souma, the first to organize the workshop, in which Anïa participated, to teach women to get along and give them confidence in this direction.

Before putting this project into action, Anïa wanted to acquire more skills, especially in production. Fields he’s known for with the goal of releasing his first musical project, still self-taught: ” Djing is cool, but producing is more creative. Before going to bed I make sounds in my head that I try to write down in Ableton. It’s a little messed up because I haven’t mastered composition techniques yet, I’m still learning and that’s why I wanted to dig deeper, find artists who do the same as me to inspire me. I’m working on my first EP where I want to mix a lot of styles: rock, electro, acid, Amazigh music, post-punk, house… Maybe add my sound too. Because music is cool, but it’s great for communicating with your audience and language allows you to convey your message better. »

If her introversion seems to be weakening Anïa, she is perhaps her greatest strength. Which allows him to go and appeal to his true desires and pursue them with confidence. In a society where women believe that DJing or producing just isn’t for them, Anïa’s journey is bound to be emulated, much like Stranger Souma’s before it. Showing that it is possible with double, triple or quadruple the effort is also what Anïa wants to prove to turn the deadlock into the boulevard and that gender issues no longer have a place in music. If he succeeded, the music of silence had never had so much resonance.

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