Monday July 22nd, 2024
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Moroccan Artist Tawsen Releases Rai/R&B Album ‘Ne3ne3 Radio’

The album is a five-track playlist presented as if through Tawsen’s imaginary eponymous FM Radio.

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Moroccan Artist Tawsen Releases Rai/R&B Album ‘Ne3ne3 Radio’

After taking a three-year hiatus to launch his own record label SAWT, Moroccan-Belgian artist Tawsen is making a comeback with a soulful Arabic R&B album titled ‘Ne3ne3 Radio’. 

A heartfelt homage to his Arab roots in the form of a five-track playlist presented as if through Tawsen’s imaginary eponymous FM Radio, the album is a glimpse into the singer-songwriter's diverse musical upbringing, interweaving elements from hip-hop, traditional Rai music, and shaabi with afrobeat and alternative sounds.

The album’s moniker is a nod to Tawsen’s fans' nickname for him, ‘Ne3ne3 Daddy’, which is also a reference to Morocco’s signature beverage, mint tea. While to unsuspecting listeners, the album would sound pretty much like Arabic pop music with a clear yet overwhelming world-beat influence, the tonal and instrumental influences of Bedouin music is what sets ‘Ne3ne3 Radio’ apart from the mainstream.

The album’s intro opens with a prolonged haunting note from an organ synthesizer laced with echoing vocals that seem as if pulled out from a sufi healing ceremony. Wearing his heart on his sleeve, tracks like ‘Sokkar’ and ‘Dawini’ – the latter of which is currently no.4 on Spotify's TOP50 in Morocco – see Tawsen meditating on the universal theme of love, expressing the joy as well as the despair that comes with it.

He contrasts the emotional intensity of his stories, presented through poignant lyricism, with the rhythmic drumming pattern of classic ganwa music, resulting in a poetic and soulful body of work that hits one ever so softly and powerfully all the same. Meanwhile, on ‘Labees’, featuring French-Algerian artist Danyl, Tawsen reflects back on the hardships he faced in the early stages of his career, and how his optimistic approach and self-determination shaped him into the seasoned musician in Europe that he is now.

The closing track ‘Ana W Yak’, featuring German-Moroccan artist Ataypapi, introduces an unexpected twist on the album’s sound with an eclectic house production. It’s crisp and light and laced with infectious grooves that instantly draw a mental image of the glittering Mediterranean shores (that said, it’s already on our tropical summer playlist).

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