Abdul & The Gang, a clear nod to American funk band Kool & The Gang, is the brainchild of Abou Ben Salem aka Abdul. Born in Boudnib, a small village in the east of Morocco near to the border with Algeria and close to the city of Errachidia, Abou grew up around the gnawa-rituals of Merzouga. At one stage Ben Salem decides to migrate to Eurrope, ending up in Paris where he goes in search of likeminded souls, finding them in Babeloued Sound, a fusion band blending genres like gnawa, seggae (a mix of sega and reggae), ska and jazz into a funky mix. However, after a while, Abou decides to go his own way and soon after Abdul & The Gang is born. In his private musical universe, Abdul effortlessly mixes the rhythms of Maghrebi genres like gnawa ('Ksar Souk', the nickname of Errachidia and an ode to Abdul's birthplace, blending gnawa rhythms with psychedelic rock) and chaabi, with funk (opener 'Labesse', roughly translated: "everything is going well!", title track 'Chibani', meaning "the elder", and a tribute to the elders in Abou's native village Boudnib, who introduced him to the tarja and the bendir), hip-hop ('Interlude Ba Sidi', an ode to Abou's grandfather) or afrobeat ('El Cazaoui'), vocally alternating between Arabic and French. For 'Interlude Kibida' Abdul called on his daughter Inès who recites 'La Nuit N'est Jamais Complète', a poem by French surrealist poet Paul Eluard, and in 'Innocent', a tribute to Nelson Mandela, you'll hear the voice of the iconic South African leader. Successful debut and concept!