Photo: Tone Verswijvel

‘She combines North-African influences with alternative pop music. And it works.’ – NRC (NL)

Roufaida creates an alternative pop universe with North African elements, inspired by Arabic poets, gnawa grooves and Nina Simone’s creed: It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times. With influences of Björk and Fairuz Roufaida produces indie pop with guitar, guembri, vintage Riffian cassette samples and beats, in English and Arabic. On stage she creates her refined music solo, which allows the listener to come exceptionally close.

‘Don’t Bend’ has the coolest groove of the year. It’s a unique sound.’ – Humo (BE)

As a child, and like many other children of Moroccan immigrants, Roufaida went on family summer holidays to Morocco by car. During these trips, Riffian and Arabic music played against a backdrop of landscapes slowly turning red. ‘When I started revisiting the music something happened; I recognized a rhythm that my body possessed as well. It felt very natural to do something with that.’

After several collaborations, Roufaida decided to continue her career as a solo artist, and in 2021 she produced new work in her home studio in Crooswijk Rotterdam.

In the run-up to her EP release, Roufaida supported Eefje de Visser and Balthazar in 2022. She performed at festivals such as Into The Great Wide Open, Motel Mozaique and Welcome To The Village.

In 2023 Roufaida released her self titled debut EP. She started the year at Noorderslag and played an extensive tour in Belgium and the Netherlands, including shows at festivals like Down The Rabbit Hole and supports for Absynthe Minded, Janne Schra and Melody Gardot. The record was playlisted by both Dutch and Belgian national radio stations and received nominations for two Edison Jazz Awards in the categories ‘National Newcomer’ and ‘National Vocal’.

In 2015, Roufaida produced an EP under the moniker Southbound in Copenhagen, where she spent a year studying at the Rytmisk Musik Konservatoriet. She won Grote Prijs van Rotterdam and performed at the finale of Grote Prijs van Nederland in Paradiso in Amsterdam.