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2006-05-29

Interview with music group Hoba Hoba Spirit

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Casablancan band Hoba Hoba Spirit has seen its fan base constantly grow since its 1998 debut. At its first international appearance in December 2005 in Niamey, Niger, for the Francophone Games, the band won the silver "Song" medal. Guitarist Anouar Zehouani talks to Magharebia.com about the highs and lows of Hoba Hoba.

Magharebia: Who is Hoba Hoba and why the name "Hoba Hoba"?

Hoba Hoba: The five members of Hoba Hoba Spirit are Adil, Anouar, Saâd, Reda, and Mohammed. The word doesn't mean anything. It's just an expression we used for a laugh at the start. We didn't know the band was going to be so famous. You know, at the start, we were just a band playing for private parties. And just for fun, we appeared under the name of Hoba Hoba.

And then things started to take off, the band became very popular, and it was too late to change the name. All our manager Dominique did was to add "Spirit" to make it sound a bit more cool and young. Otherwise, we sometimes tell people Hoba stands for "Haut bas", [French for high low] meaning life has highs and lows.

Magharebia: Does the band have a leader?

Hoba: No one on particular. There's not really a leader, everyone plays a part. Nothing has changed, despite some changes to the personnel in the band. We do the same things we did at the start. The songs are composed by us as a group and as you know, our lyrics are a mix of darija (a Moroccan dialect) and French. The spirit remains the same!

Magharebia: Is five an essential number of band members and what is your message?

Hoba: Not at all. When Hanine left, there were just four of us. Our arms are always open to welcome new members.

Hoba Hoba Spirit talks about the problems eating away at society. We approach them openly and most of all, we approach them with a lot of optimism.

Our songs talk about integration, domestic violence, drugs, illegal immigration, and anything that young people are concerned about. We want young people to look at things differently, with more optimism. We talk about what society talks about and of course with a good vibe.

Magharebia: You talk about problems, but not about love. Why?

Hoba: No, everyone talks about love, but problems are part of life. But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy ourselves and talk about our problems without losing our optimism.

Magharebia: What do you do outside the band?

Hoba: I'm a banker and the others range from student to civil servant to unemployed. Unfortunately we can't rely on our art to earn a living. There's only one member of the band who's 100 per cent Hoba Hoba, but it won't be long before he finds some work.

Magharebia: You took the Gnawa festival in Essaouira by storm last year. Will we see you there again?

Hoba: No, we won't be at Essaouira this year. This year we participated in the Mawazine festival in Rabat on 23 May.

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  1. Anonymous thumb

    zakaria 2010-10-17

    Pride to Hoba Hoba! My brother and I are their fans. Hoba forever!

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  2. Anonymous thumb

    abderrazak 2009-12-2

    I am one of the fans of Hoba Hoba Spirit.

    • 0 Likes

  3. Anonymous thumb

    the-king18 2009-8-17

    hoba hoba 4 ever

    • 0 Likes

  4. Anonymous thumb

    mehdi 2009-1-26

    Hoba Hoba Spirit is the best hayha music group in Morocco.

    • 0 Likes

  5. Anonymous thumb

    Anonymous 2008-12-6

    I love her. My nickname is Semsem. I address her my encouragements but with new direction of songs. May God protect you with His power and preserve you. But we want new direction.

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  6. Anonymous thumb

    Anonymous 2008-12-6

    I like the band Hoba Spirit.

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  7. Anonymous thumb

    KHALID 2008-10-8

    Hoba Hoba is the best fusion group!

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  8. Anonymous thumb

    Rose Engelland 2008-6-18

    I am interested in getting a high res photo of Hoba Hoba Spirit. Can you tell me who to contact?

    • 0 Likes

  9. Anonymous thumb

    Rose Engelland 2008-6-18

    I am interested in getting a high res photo of Hoba Hoba Spirit. Can you tell me who to contact?

    • 0 Likes

  10. Anonymous thumb

    rbati 2007-7-21

    Always Hoba Hoba, they should come to the South, the Sahara to see how the Sahraoui fans are, ok?

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  11. Anonymous thumb

    yassin oulkan 2007-6-28

    Hoba Hoba Spirit forever

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  12. Anonymous thumb

    عادل 2007-2-12

    Hoba Hoba Spirit is best addressing youth issues with their music among all young bands. They express the anger and insurrection against the painful reality that we live in a comic fashion. Thanks for the article!

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  13. Anonymous thumb

    toundaoui 2006-12-9

    I want to listen to Hoba Hoba songs. I am from Casablanca.

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  14. Anonymous thumb

    slaykou 2006-11-30

    Hello. Are you doing all right? Long live Hoba Hoba Spirit.

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  15. Anonymous thumb

    souad 2006-11-18

    I am very perplexed at this band. It seems to be a mixture of laicity and craziness. Huba Huba has succeeded because they knew how to use the void in the arts arena which has fallen into the hands of those who seek to distorst the true image of Moroccan identity. The band is meant for the wrong causes!

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  16. Anonymous thumb

    حنيم 2006-11-9

    Please, I would like to listen to songs from Hoba Hoba Spirit.

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  17. Anonymous thumb

    alios 2006-10-28

    I would like to hear the song of Hoba Hoba Spirit.

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