Only a fortnight ago she touched audiences in their souls by sharing three inspiring life lessons during TEDx Breda. A day later she captivated listeners by singing her songs during the festivities surrounding the annual Inspiration Award of the prestigious Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation. For years now the internationally orientated singer Rajae El Mouhandiz has been putting her heart and soul into spreading her musical message. Her soulful Maghreb Jazz-sound deserves a large audience, the kind of recognition that is not limited by prejudice or narrow-mindedness. The latest developments in Dutch politics prove her right. The discussion about the fact that the government extends funding mostly to artists that are already (financially) successful is more alive than ever. Forcing artists like Rajae to choose walk the road less traveled. “Fortunately we live in a digital era. Diversity and cultural baggage are nowadays looked upon as something positive. All resources towards taking matters into our own hands are available to us. That is why I started this crowd-funding project.
“With the resources I plan to record an album and shoot beautiful videos in the country where I was born; magical Morocco. But it doesn’t end there. My purpose is to ascend the level of an artist who only wants money to make music. Everybody who participates in this project will get something in return; Music digitally released and accessible via unique download codes, printed on the labels of environmentally & sustainable manufactured merchandise. In this digital era artists have to change way they produce and publish music. My business model is based on sustainable and Islamic principles; Nia (intention), Zakat (giving back), Iqra (Education) & Inspiration.” By connecting dots and mixing both her western and Islamic education Rajae wants to produce music and entertainment products that are truly soulful and therefor truthful. “I can only sell music and products that inspire, uplift, encourage, reflect and most of all ensure that the women who work in the factories and with the organisations in Morocco whom I work with, earn a decent income, and both they and their children have access to education.”
Rajae, trying to fulfill this dream for over twenty years, is rightfully optimistic. Last week, for the 5th year in a row, she has been chosen as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world. The response to her TEDx talk has been overwhelmingly positive and her short documentary HOPE! was nominated for the Dutch Film Festival award.
On January 17th she will screen HOPE! and perform at the SPOKEN XL interactive poetry festival, hosted at Hollands’ most famous cultural temple; Paradiso Amsterdam. The very motivated singer will put every effort into aligning all this positive energy towards fulfilling her goal: introducing the world to the rich and full Maghreb Jazz-sound that originates from her motherland. Morocco firmly believes in her talent. Radio station Medi1 already aired a lengthy interview with her regarding the introduction of the crowd-fund. They are responsible for connecting her to an internationally renowned management agency that is well known for playing an important role in the organization of the Meditel Moroccan Music Awards and the Mawazine festival. The single largest music festival in Africa, home to singers like Beyonce, Rihanna, Shakira and Alicia Keys.
The foundation has now been laid. Her unique crowd-funding project is online here. A Dutch crowd-funding site that also makes it possible for foreign contributors to donate. Steps are being taken to engage further international ambassadors. A task that should prove not to be too difficult. For Rajae is creating the most ideal environment to create a movement in which every lover of music and culture can participate. The proceeds of her crowd-funding project will not only provide means to record her album and videos. Participants will also be able to download her music or receive cool and fashionable merchandise, which is produced in Morocco. Rajae has ensured that she only buys from factories that not only offer their workers good labor conditions, but also give their children a chance to go to school and live a better life. That is where the campaign pay off comes from: A chance for a Change; from Morocco to the world. Join the movement and help this inspiring artist fulfill her dream and make the world a little bit of a better place.
Africa, our diamond has done her best, it’s now upon us to do the rest, gracefully. As’salaam Wa’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu.
Follow : @rajae