Saturday, February 4, 2017

Neta Elkayam - Khoti Khoti

When I first heard about Trump's Muslim ban my thoughts went to the small Syrian supermarket in the States where I'd go with my dad to buy olives and stuffed grape leaves whenever he was homesick for Middle Eastern food. I wondered if the old man at the store still had family in Syria and if he will ever see them again. I thought of him again when I saw the video for this beautiful song by Neta Alkayam. The video is an ode to nostalgia featuring Maorice Kabilyo, who was born in Oujda, Morroco and now lives in Jerusalem. The song 'Khoti Khoti' is inspired by the biblical story of Joseph and his brothers and was originally performed by Jacob Abotbol, a respected violinist and vocalist who released a number of 45s in Morroco during the 1950's. Jacob Abotbol was the father of acclaimed singer Haim Botbol and more details of him can be found here.
Neta Elkayam's soulful songs are based on traditional ethnic music while each band member adds his or her own musical language together creating music that's loyal to its roots but with a contemporary touch. Her music is also "an attempt to bring together Maghreb communities, Jews and Muslims, and open up the hearts of listeners whoever they may be".

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