Moroccolondon talks to Jonzi D Artistic Director of Breakin Convention and godfather of UK Hip Hop.
Jonzi D has been travelling to Morocco over the last few years and checking out the Hip Hop scene.
When did you go to Morocco and what for? The first time I visited was in 2008, I went for a holiday, just to hang out and enjoy at a friends hotel by the beach.
While I was there my friend Hicham introduced me to the Stlye Salé Breakers from Rabat – they were amazing, I then met then BIGG who is one of Morocco’s top MC’s and he exposed me to the whole scene. I have been back since and hooked up with Amin Wakrim a hip hop promoter in Meknes who I actually met in Germany.
In 2011 I was invited again to come and judge a battle at Festival de Casablanca also where I rocked the mike with with DJ Shortee Blitz to a Casablanca audience.
Which cities where you in? Casablanca, Meknes, Rabat, they are all so different ! Rabat is great for getting away as it is by the coast, and has a chilled vibe!. Casablanca is good because it was really busy and there was a lot going on, Meknes was great but I would prefer to go back there next in the summertime.
How did you find the hip hop scene over there? There is a big French influence on the movement, due to North African communities in France, which helps to understand the hip hop form, they have stars for example, Salah, an award-winning competitive hip-hop dancer who specializes in popping ( and has done Breakin’ Convention three times), he is one of the best hip hop dancers around at the moment. (click here for You Tube video »»)
Also a Moroccan Dance company called ‘Salama’ they have created challenging contemporary theatre even thought their roots are in hip hop dance forms. They have done some very interesting stuff, I saw them in Morocco last year.
What are some of the big names out there, anyone we should be looking out for? Company Salama, again they are Morocco’s first professional Hip Hop dance company. My favourite dancer in Casablanca goes by the name of Shawlin. (click here for You Tube video »») He’s got some real funk he is dope!
You do a lot of hip hop theatre productions, do you think you might do one out there? We are just starting to go international, with our first tour in the USA later this year, I would deifinitely love to take a production out there. I can see myself working with more Moroccan dancers and bringing them to the UK. So watch this space !
Salama Crew Facebook
This year the Vagabond Crew will be at Breakin’ Convention who are a French and Moroccan Dance Group.