Photo: Alicia Breton Ferrer

“Roufaida’s warm voice first sets you off in the wrong direction, then she pulls you into the dark with subdued vocal runs and her unique timing.” The Daily Indie

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, Fairuz and Nilüfer Yanya, 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.

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.’

Her lyrical themes are hope and opportunities. ‘As different as we may seem, we are all equal in our sadness, our love and loneliness.’

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 album release, Roufaida supported Eefje de Visser and Balthazar in 2022. She also performed at festivals such as Into The Great Wide Open, Motel Mozaique and Welcome to the Village. She’ll start the year 2023 with a concert at Noorderslag.

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.