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Zebda Zebda
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  Zebda Zebda


DOSSIER October 2002
by An'So





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Zebda means butter in Arabic.
Zebda is also the name of a band created in 1988. And a brave band it was, as implied in the choice of a such a name for the group of Toulouse at a time in which the theme of marginalization had not yet pushed any artist to recognize him/herself as such.

Immigration and rebellion vis à vis the crude social reality of the working class neighborhoods are the cement of the group.
The idea for Zebda does not originate in a bold piece of theory (in spite of what is said about them in most of the media).
Zebda reflects the vital desire for expression, even if the media do not allow it. From it comes their desire to expose the misery of the minorities about which so little is said. To face the sentiment of incomprehension which invades us as politicians talk ceaselessly about repression, there is urgent need for solidarity.

In 1985 the Vitecri association, aimed at helping the neighborhood 's young people through video productions finishes their first film ( Salah Malik, Beurs.) about the formation of a rock band known as " Zebda Bird " with Magyd (voice and lyrics), Pascal (guitar) and Joël (bass).

In 1988, Mustafa (voice), Vincent (programming and drums) and Hakim (voice) join the three amateur members, not with the purpose of appearing on the screen, but to go onstage and set microphones and souls aflame with their fiery energy.

In 91, Rémi (keyboard, accordion and sampler) joins the band and in 1992 Zebda releases their first album, l'Arène des rumeurs. This work owes them accusations of anti-Semitism for featuring, on its cover, a Palestinian youth about to throw a stone, as a reference to the Palestinian Intifada.
Zebda is starting to cause discomfort!

Zebda's style has the musical colors of the ideas defended by the band: multiracial. Mixing rap, rock, reggae, hip hop, dub, ska, punk as well as sounds from traditional Arabic styles, from Spain or from Jamaica.
Since their first album, the band relentlessly criticizes the media, by including
speeches by Yasser Arafat and voices shouting " ¡ SANDINISTA ! ".

In 1995 Le Bruit et l'odeur (The noise and the smell) is released. The title comes from a speech by Jacques Chirac pronounced in 1991. An infamous excerpt in which J. Chirac
describes the sufferings of "the French worker and his wife, who earn about 15000 francs a month (2000 euro), and see in their basement a bundled family with a father, three or four wives, twenty children and who earn 50000 from social insurance, evidently without working. If to this we add the noise and the smell, the French worker goes mad. And it is not racism to say that."
In 1991, this speech makes little impact. Zebda takes care of its making it widely known, by including it ipsis literis in their album. Their media incursions allow a larger public to discover at last the existence of an engaged band, alien to the typical compromises which exist in all the levels of power. An anti-globalization and anti-racism manifest based on rai and rap. That is, in short, how their first success came into being.

In 1999 Zebda's third album - Essence ordinaire - was released. Assured success with Tomber la chemise. The market explosion of this single would hide for too long the qualities of the album. The title Essence ordinaire ("cheap gasoline") is a sharp criticism of the hypocritical atmosphere in France during the World Cup in 1998.
" We found out with joy that France is multiracial when we have to support Zidane! But it is so in the essence ! "
With a more elaborate intermingling of the several musical horizons which concur in Zebda, this work is a demonstration that engaged lyrics do not know limitations and never wane. Criticism is aimed especially against double penalty and racism, which keep advancing through the Front National.

Finally there is Utopie d'Occas', released on August, 28th ,2002.
Utopie d'Occas' could mean opportunistic utopia (used on occasion), or utopia which inspires us sometimes (on certain occasions). This last album has darker lyrics, but as usual great poetic quality and with its typical realism displays a wide musical diversity: reggae, rock, Latin rhythms, ska, verbena. The atmosphere changes from melancholy to fiesta, from rebellion to tranquility.
Zebda aspires to universal language by freely expressing themselves about the crude reality of the contemporary world. That they have achieved, but steering clear of the advantages that can benefit rap. They have achieved it with an Arabic name, with controversial covers with direct criticism. "However", they say "it is not through music that things can be changed". Yes, but it can inspire the expression of repressed feelings: of rebellion, of love, of happiness.
It is a medium without barriers destined to reach human hearts.
Zebda has touched them, they have touched the public without distinction of origins.
Evolution? Change?

Records [up]
Bird   Bird
   1985 Association Vitecri - Single

Des Mots Crasseux   Des Mots Crasseux
   1989 Mustang Concert - Single
Carte Nationale d'Identité   Carte Nationale d'Identité
   1989 - Album
Zebdomania   Zebdomania
   1989 - Album
La France   La France
   1990 - Album
L'Arènes des Rumeurs   L'Arènes des Rumeurs
   1992 Nord Sud - Album
   buy it at iTunes
Le Bruit et l'Odeur   Le Bruit et l'Odeur
   1995 Barclay - Album
   buy it at iTunes
Compil 92-95   Compil 92-95
   1995 - Best Of
Essence Ordinaire   Essence Ordinaire
   1999 Barclay - Album
   buy it at iTunes
Utopie d'Occase   Utopie d'Occase
   2002 Barclay - Album
   buy it at iTunes
L'erreur Est Humaine   L'erreur Est Humaine
   2002 Barclay - Single
La Tawa   La Tawa
   2003 Barclay - DVD + CD Live
   buy it at iTunes
Second Tour   Second Tour
   2012 - Album
   buy it at iTunes

Main contributions [up]
Ragga Buzzin   Ragga Buzzin
   1991 Barclay - Compilation

Motivés   Motivés
   1997 - Compilation
Aux Suivant   Aux Suivant
   1998 Barclay - Compilation
FM 99.00 Dub Manifest   Fermin Muguruza: FM 99.00 Dub Manifest
   2000 Esan Ozenki - Album
Il y a un Pays... Palestine   Il y a un Pays... Palestine
   2003 - Compilation
Radar FM 1999.2013   Fermin Muguruza: Radar FM 1999.2013
   2013 - Remixes

News [up]
  12.01.2012: Zebda; nuevo disco y gira en Barcelona y Madrid (Castellano)
  31.01.2006: BARCELONA RAVAL SESSIONS VOL. 2 (Castellano)
  12.10.2004: Mailing Magyd (Français)
  19.02.2004: Un Zebda en solo (Français)

Forum [up]
  The Forum for Zebda

Interviews [up]
  Entrevue avec Magyd - 09/2002 (Français)
  An interview with Magyd, Zebda. - 09/2002
  AUDIO: Interview avec Magyd - 09/2002 (Français)

Artists related [up]
  Magyd Cherfi
  Mouss & Hakim
  Origines controlées

Links [up]


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