I remember a few years ago around 2005 when Rachid El Majed was becoming super popular in Morocco. His videos usually showed scores of girls dancing along to his music, sometimes with one special video vixen by his side.
Above is one of the more popular numbers he's put out. The first time I saw it, my male cousin commented, "Look at all these Moroccan whores." According to him, all those girls were just in search for a few extra bucks and jumped at the opportunity to be featured in a Khaliji artist's music video, which was sure to reach a wide audience. I asked him how he knew they were Moroccan. He said, "Just look at them. Can't you tell?" Well, no, I couldn't. I still can't tell. But it seemed to be a general view shared by other Moroccans. (My co-blogger, Mona, informed me that folks in the Gulf thought the girls were Eastern European). But, that didn't stop this song from becoming a huge hit. Along with several others of his, including this one, which also features a bunch of dancing girls (similarly labelled as Moroccan whores by some).
A few years later, Rachid El Majed partnered up with popular Moroccan artist, Asmaa Lmnawar and together, the two came up with this:
Asmaa Lmnawar has also gained prominence in the Khaliji music scene, with numbers such as this. Below is Asma Lmnawar covering Moroccan singer, Najat Aatabou's popular hit, "J'en ai marre," along with a band and audience of Khalijis.
Her songs in the Khaliji dialect have not hindered her popularity in the Maghreb either since she also balances it with covers of popular Moroccan classics. During concerts, she'll often go back and forth between the two dialects with cheers and applause all along the way.
Popular Khaliji singers, such as Hussein El Jasmi, have joined in on the Maghreb-Khaliji fusion music trend.
The lyrics are in Maghrebi dialect but the music is very much Khaliji in style. Oh, this was a huge hit in Morocco. Below is the full video of his performance at the International Mawazine Music Festival in Rabat. After he sang some nationalist song dedicated to Morocco, he opened up with the song I linked above.
The music between the two regions has facilitated a wider dialogue, whether it's between the artists or the audience. That dialogue may not always be positive in some cases, but it's a conversation that transcends both regions and arguably leading to a greater understanding and even appreciation of the other.