Najat Aatabou

Najat Aâtabou (Born: Meknes May 9, 1960) origin Khemisset is a Moroccan singer, songwriter and composer.[1][2] She is perhaps best known for her song "Hadi Kedba Bayna," which was sampled by the Chemical Brothers in its song Galvanize.

Early life

Najat Aâtabou was born into a lower-class family, with five brothers and four sisters. She dreamed of becoming a lawyer, but her life would take a different direction. Singing was her favorite thing to do and she would walk to school every morning singing songs. When she reached the age of thirteen, she would sneak out of her bedroom window and sing at local weddings and school parties for money. At one of these parties, a guest recorded her voice with a tape recorder. The tape was sold illegally throughout Morocco and the song "J'en ai marre" ("I've had enough of it") became especially popular. Her family soon found out about her singing and did not accept her choice of vocation.[3] Her brothers threatened to kill her if she continued. She was afraid and decided to run away from home. She fled to the local music shop, that being her first choice because "they played music there", as she later said. That very day a coincidence happened. A famous Moroccan music producer Mustapha El Mils walked into the shop, looking for Najat Aâtabou after he had heard the song "J'en ai marre". He asked for her trust and to join him in Casablanca. Having no choice, she left for Casablanca, where she would stay for three years, living with the mother of the music producer. After these three years, her family found her and they made up.[4]


As a songwriter and singer of the Moroccan Chanson, she told the story of the modern Moroccan woman and tried to improve feminism within Morocco. In 1992, she scored her biggest hit, "Hedi Kedba Bayna" which was extremely popular throughout the whole Arab world, Spain and France. Hedi Kedba Bayna is about a woman whose husband is cheating on her. The title literally means "This lie is obvious". Another song "Shoufi Ghirou", is about women who are in a relationship with married men, while in Morocco it is illegal to have such a relationship. Her songs have evoked social and political discussion in Morocco and improved a lot on the area of feminism.

She is also one of the subjects of the film Morocco Swings about two generations of Moroccan singers.[5][6][7]

Personal life

Najat Aâtabou is married to Moroccan music producer Hassan Dikouk and has three children. She currently resides in a chalet in the south of France and still records songs.



  1. World Music Expo website
  2. MSN Music artist biography
  3. MSN Music artist biography
  4. Afropop Worldwide web profile and biography
  5. Global Exchange article on Morocco Swings movie
  6. San Francisco City Guide profile of Morocco Swings movie
  7. Tiburon Film Festival movie festival profile of Morocco Swings movie
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