Yuba was born and raised in Dcheira, a small town near Agadir (Southern Morocco). He was greatly affected by the way in which his Amazigh (Berber) culture was slowly but surely being strangled and so joined the identity protest movement to try and contribute, in his own way, to the defence and protection of this thousand-year-old culture. So, before being drawn into the world of music, he wrote poems in Amazigh to signify his attachment to his primary identity.

Yuba began to play guitar and formed a group, as he was convinced that music was a way of fighting for what was right. He gave a number of concerts, in spite of being banned several times by the Moroccan authorities, and began to become more and more well-known. His musical style is based on his ancestral culture, but Yuba is open to all possibilities and combinations. He produced two albums on his own which illustrate the care taken by him in the quality of the arrangements and the lyrics.

In 1999, his first album, Tawargit (Dream) met with resounding success in Morocco. His second album, Itran Azal (Stars in the Daytime), was recorded both in Germany and Morocco and came out in 2005. Traditional instruments are used in this album, like the lotar, guembri, rribab (imzad), ganga, tallunt, tiqerqawin, naqus, etc. The track Tudert ad (This Life) shows us the way in which Yuba can breathe new life into old traditions. The rribab, a one-string hurdy-gurdy sounding somewhat like a flute, is traditionally associated with the music of the rrways (south-west Moroccan troubadours). In Tudert ad, Yuba succeeds in bringing this rustic instrument bang up to date.

The track Urt Igi resonates with gnawa rhythms. As it is quite rare in North Africa subject matter, it merits a mention here, as it pays a vibrant tribute to these descendants of slaves: “A history which grinds humans under its foot, Which created slavery, The tugging of the forelock and the forced alliance, Which forces us to call ‘Lord’ those who are not deserving.”

All Rights Reserved © 2005 - 2009 Yuba
Photo Credit: Rachid Tacheroune
Illustrations & Design: Kamal Seballa