As I’ve learned more about Morocco, I’ve also learned more about its intricate music scene. There are a number of other incredible festivals happening in Morocco every year, including Moga Festival, Atlas Electronic and Oasis Festival. While all of this is still kind of new to me, it’s not so new to Nidal. Nidal is something of a mainstay of the Moroccan party scene, and she an important member of event agency La Factory Casaoui, which was running monthly music events in Casablanca. She explained that “Our goal is to offer a different way of experiencing an event through La Factory Casaoui. We started this to have fun, and entertain people.”
My experience of the party scene I was introduced to through Nidal was that it was a sort of ‘counterculture’ to the norm in Morocco. But, she has a different point of view. “I don’t think we can summarise the Moroccan party scene in one word like ‘underground.’ It’s a tricky word nowadays, because it has a trendy connotation that differs from what it is supposed to mean. There are two sides to the Moroccan party scene coin. One is more ‘mainstream’, and accessible for everyday people. The other is for true electronic music fans.” I wondered how someone like Nidal could find herself in the festival world in Morocco. She explained that she was introduced to it through the parties she organised. “The producers of these festivals contacted us to collaborate with them, and share our knowledge of the scene here in Morocco.”
Nidal and the team are responsible for setting up and building stages, arranging decor and bringing the parties and communities together. They’ve worked for Atlas Electronic, Moga and Oasis Festival. For Nidal, her career now is based on a passion for music that stems from her youth. “I’ve loved dancing since I was 10 years old. I used to love hip-hop dancing, which I think is the style that represented me most. But when I was introduced to electronic music, I fell in love with it. I was so seduced by techno, and house music.”
Nidal has a unique familiarity with the Moroccan party scene due to her professional involvement in it. I wanted to gain some insight from her about the nature of the scene in her country. “The party scene in Morocco is constantly evolving. There’s been lots of change in the last 12 years, and nowadays we have more diverse collectives and promoters organising events with international talent, and huge lineups.” It is a unique moment in time for the electronic music scene in Morocco. Thanks to the efforts of pioneering young people in the scene, the festivals themselves, and the international press, Nidal sees that “the global electronic music industry is now looking at Morocco. So, if the authorities can work together with those of us in the scene, I think there is a bright future.”
Morocco is a place of variation, and contrasts. It is renowned for its historical significance, it’s architecture, its beaches, and in some cases its questionable international activity such as its ongoing occupation of the Western Sahara. But, as with all places, Morocco is about more than just the political, religious, or historical framework that it exists in. It is a place of people from vastly different backgrounds, with different tastes, goals and aspirations. This is why I was able to find my community, my people, within this tapestry of Morocco. I was able to find a techno scene in which I felt at home, and have the experiences I was familiar with in new places, in a new frame of mind. I am so grateful to Nidal, and to Morocco for the experiences I’ve been introduced to.
In Morocco, the artisans creating bags and clothing excel at what they do, with a unique flair. They incorporate my modern designs, with their traditional training and technique. Fusing the two together. Much like Morocco's new found love for electronic music and the international music scene. Adapting and adopting, fusing two worlds into one, while paying homage to their deeply ingrained culture.
Pictured Dominique, founder of Lost Little One (right) & Nidal, La Factory Casaoui (left)