Young Moroccan Musician Links Cultures Through Music

Afa has collaborated with several renowned musicians from around the world

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Ishita Chakraborty
Ishita Chakraborty
A computer engineer who has a passion for writing, a hodophile, social activist, youth activist for PETA India, and a linguaphile. A journalist covering Social issues & United Nations initiatives for transcontinental times.

MOROCCO. Agadir: Anouar Afa is a musician, music arranger, and music composer from Agadir, Morocco. The 26-year-old musician has an immense passion for music and has collaborated with several renowned musicians from across the world.

From a family of artists

Afa was born in Agadir, Morocco into a family of artists. His uncle was an illustrator while his grandmother was a traditional carpet maker. Music was an important part of his family from the beginning. However, Afa developed a love for music from his grandmother, with whom he spent most of his time. She would often sing to express her emotions while making carpets. Like many other successful international musicians, Afa’s love for music began at a very young age.

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In an interview with Transcontinental Times, Afa said, “ My passion and love for music have been inside me from the beginning only. But, I didn’t think of pursuing a professional career in music. Still, it happened. To be honest, it wasn’t like I woke up one day and took the decision. My musical journey just started to take shape day-by-day.”

Music that connects cultures

Afa was very fascinated by the sounds of Aita, Imazighen, and Gnawa music. Due to this, he started to work on his style of combining these genres of music with Flamenco and Jazz. By doing this, Afa is linking different cultures and roots.

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Having performed alongside notable musicians like Hicham El Issaoui, Amen Viana, and Malika Zarra, Afa gained valuable musical experience at a young age.

Afa’s dream is to collaborate with musicians and artists from around the world. He said, “I believe that music can break barriers. This is the way to bypass the borders between human beings. I strongly believe that musicians have a special power to touch the minds, the souls, and create a positive impact on society.”

Anouar Afa at one of his musical gigs / Photo Credit: Anouar Afa

Boundary-breaking collaborative projects

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Afa is a versatile musician who can play the percussion, guitar, keyboard, and other musical instruments. He has collaborated with many musicians from Europe, South America, and Africa. His collaborative project ‘Sin Fronteras’ was an original composition. In this project, he gathered musicians from different musical backgrounds, different cultures, and different countries, including Thailand, Poland, and Morocco. Afa has also composed music for video games and animation movies.

Recently, Afa has composed music for the short film “Water of Life” by Fatima Matousse. The film tells the story of David, a Moroccan Jew, who brings the Moroccan fig alcoholic drink to the U.S. The film shows the struggles he faced to coexistence between Moroccan Jews and Muslims in New York.                          

Besides composing, arranging, and performing, Afa has also worked as a music educator. He has worked for many schools in the past. Nowadays, he is giving private guitar lessons to young musicians.

About his future collaborations, Afa said, “If I get a chance, I would love to collaborate with Jafar Yusuf. You know, music is the only thing that makes me happy. You can say that music is like breath to me. It would be perfect if I can make a living out of it. When I do other jobs, I feel like I am putting a lot of efforts. I never feel happy.”

Anouar Afa performing / Photo Credit: Anouar Afa

Afa’s love for arts

Afa has a very artistic approach to life. He loves to see things creatively. When asked about what would have been his profession if not a musician, he promptly replied, “Definitely an artist.”

He said, “I draw pretty well. Along with music, I have an inclination toward arts. Music and art make me very happy. We all seek happiness in this world..right? For me, these things are my source of happiness.”

Afa wishes to motivate and inspire people with his music. While addressing young aspiring musicians, Afa said, “Keep doing things that you love. Keep practicing, practice a lot. Keep looking for opportunities, be open for collaborations and don’t lose yourself while trying to achieve your aim. Finally, the most important thing: Just Breathe.”

Original art by Anouar Afa / Photo Credit: Anouar Afa

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