So Urgent, the new record label of musician, producer and composer MANS O, releases its first record ‘Habb5’, the debut EP by Barcelona-based artist and musical agitator Ikram Bouloum. Throughout 5 tracks, it establishes an aesthetic dialogue between the artist’s Moroccan heritage, the electronics of the West and a personal reinterpretation of the pop and dance music aesthetics of the Maghreb.
“Ha-bb5 marks a before and after in my musical career. On a personal level, it has been an artistic process that has culminated, unravelling many answers to me on an identity level” says Ikram. Feminist, emancipated and innovative, ‘Ha-bb5’ explores a radical sound that destroys the establishments to create a space of her own, empowered and safe, in which the artist sings in her mother tongue, Amazigh - a minority language from the north of Morocco - and in other languages such as English and Catalan.
‘Ha-bb5’ is published together with 5 lyric videos made by Goretexdealer, Sara V. Malló and Marcos Oteiza, and translated by Guillem Daniel Esteba and Britt Elvira Ruitenberg.
“Ikram Bouloum comes from a humanist and aesthetic background, from a political analysis of the sonorities of the different genres and of the new protest aesthetics. I come from a more technical background in music. The project started in 2018, when she was doing a lot of DJ sets and I was going to listen to them all. When we started creating, we understood each other without having to talk too much. And little by little we adapted the project to her lyrics, to her lyrical intention. Having danced to all of her sets was very important. We tried to balance her creations with my dub and electronic influences. And the tracks started coming out, prepared for Ikram Bouloum’s live set at Mutek 2020 and then at the Capella del Macba. This EP is the summary and the result of those moments of creation. Over time we have reduced the tracks and balanced them between modern and avant-garde pop with a depth of emotional bass” - MANS O, the EP’s producer.
Ikram Bouloum will present the EP live on Wednesday 2 June in the cycle Els Concerts de la Fabra, at Fabra i Coats - Fàbrica de Creació in Barcelona, and in early July at the Poesia i + festival in Maresme. More dates will be announced soon.
Ikram Bouloum - Ha-bb5
5. The Game
Watch lyric videos for the full EP here