Hicham Billouch: bringing Morocco and Mexico closer together

He plays every weekend at the Lebanese restaurant Adonis in the upscale Polanco neighborhood in Mexico City.

Hicham Billouch published a book with the translation into Spanish of 29 famous Arab songs. (Photo: Igor Plaza / Courtesy of the musician)
English 07/07/2016 10:20 Actualizada 11:27
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The desire of Moroccan musician Hicham Billouch to explore new musical possibilities brought him to Mexico two years ago.

"I believe Mexico and Morocco were together in the times of the Pangea, there are so many similarities between the two cultures" said Billouch, who has felt welcome in Mexico since he arrived in the country. "I am happy to be able to share my culture with people and that they enjoy the music I play," he explained.

Billouch plays every weekend at the Lebanese restaurant Adonis, founded more than 30 years ago, in the upscale Polanco neighborhood in Mexico City and has recorded two CDs with music for belly dance: Salam and Qamar. He is now working on his third album that includes both, his own compositions and covers of well-know Arabic music classics. 

“Music for me is like oxygen, I can't live without it and I will never give up my passion,” he said.

About his beginnings Billouch said that he studied music at the Royal Conservatory of Marrakech and also took music teaching lessons in France. He began with piano but then learnt to play violin, guitar, oud and percussion instruments and also took singing lessons.

When he was a teenager he started working in cabarets such as Hotel Sahara Inn, Rotana and VIP Club in Marrakech and Hotel Semiramis in Casablanca. In Morocco he played for singers from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Kuwait such as Shadi, Mido el Masri, Ahmed Adawiya, Mohamed Reda, Badr Sultan, Tahour and Fariz Karam on Al Ula, Morocco's leading radio station, among others.  

He also participated at Mauazin Festival organized by the government of Morocco with the band Nashkesh and later worked in the organization of music events such as the Green March Festival.

In France he founded Maqam al Ushaq, a Moorish music group, along with Jewish singer Pinhas and participated in the Mediterranean Music Festival of Corsica and the International University Music Festival (FIMU) in Ville de Bellefort. Moreover, he participated in the Arab World Festival of Manchester, England, and the Chamber Music Festival of Bal, Switzerland.

Last year he organized a contest in Mexico City with live music that was well received by Mexico's belly dance community and published a book with the translation into Spanish of 29 famous Arab songs.


Now he plans to continue giving seminars for dancers and sharing his music with them.



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