Singer, guitarist, composer and band leader, Hamza Abouabdelmajid grew up in the medina of Fez, Morocco, before settling in Montreal in 2005. For its part, Annick Beauvais (oboe, vocals) is active on the music scene Montreal for several years on various projects. The musical bond between the two is felt at their first meeting. It emerges in songs carried by the exceptional voice of Hamza (which translates AYRAD Berber language) with unique arrangements for guitar and oboe. After launching the project, Hamza (which means lion in Arabic) decide to give it its own name, but in his translation in Berber language: AYRAD ( (pronounced “hi-e-rad”) .
Soon, new members will be added to the project to tread the scenes and record first demos. The multi-instrumentalists Anit Ghosh (violin, back vocals), Kattam Laraki-Côté (percussion, back vocals), Sylvain PLante (drums) and Gabriel Brochu-Lajoie (bass, keyboards, back vocals) come into the picture, each bringing a color different. And that is where lies the uniqueness of now Ayrad.
A cross-cultural music, combining Andalusian and Berber rhythms, reggae and Moroccan Chaabi grooves, and strains pop and rock. A unique blend that draws in adventurous listeners and excites passionate fans of World Music.
Galvanized by the exceptional voice of Hamza, this group of experienced musicians is able to take their songs to the limit, infusing them with a contagious, quasi-magical energy that leaves no audience untouched. Their synergistic power in concert and on disc is absolutely extraordinary.
Awards and Nominations:
2020 – Canadian Folk Music Awards – Best World Music Group of the year
2020 – OPUS Award: ”Concert of the Year – World Music”
2019 – ADISQ nomination : “World music album of the year”
2019 – JUNO nomination: “World music album of the year”
2018 – Nomination ”Concert of the Year – World Music”, prix Opus, Conseil québécois de la musique
2016 – Calgary Folk Festival – Top Audience Discovery Artist
2015 – Galaxie Rising Star winners at Sunfest
2015 – ADISQ Winner: “Music arranger of the year”
2015 – ADISQ nomination: “World music album of the year”
2015 – Folk Music Awards: “World group of the year”
2015 – JUNO nomination: “World music album of the year”
2015 – GAMIQ nomination: “Roots album”
2015 – Indie Acoustic Project nomination: “Best World Music CD”
2015 – Indigenous Music Awards nomination: “Best International Indigenous release”
2012-2013 – Winner of the Prix de la Diversité
2012 – Finalist Mon accès à la scène