DUBAI: Google Doodle is celebrating the life of Moroccan singer and cultural icon Haja El Hamdaouia, who influenced multiple generations of artists with her innovative style.
The singer, who was born in Morocco’s Casablanca in 1930, was first inspired to learn how to sing chaabi music – a genre that fuses urban and rural Moroccan folk music together – by her father’s own love for the art.
In the early 1950s, she developed an interest in El Aita al Marsaouiya, a sub-genre of chaabi music that is characterized by poetic lyrics and blues-like melodies.
With a voice that was known to be powerful, El Hamdaoui often sang about everything from national independence to daily life.
The icon continuously pushed boundaries in her field, and in 1959 she decided to start singing in front of a makeshift orchestra. As her popularity grew, she performed at cabaret venues around Casablanca backed by a saxophone, organ, guitar, drums, and violin.
Some of her most popular songs were created during this time, including “Daba Yij” and “Jiti Majiti.”
The artist performed music for over 60 years and even headlined at festivals in Essaouira and Oujda until the late 2000s.
El Hamdaoui died in 2021 at the age of 91.