Bio

Raised in a family of music lovers with a Franco-Moroccan heritage, right from his childhood, Idriss El Mehdi has the opportunity to bathe in classical arab and western, jazz and rock music.

A talented pianist, he accompanies local singers in Casablanca’s rare jazz clubs.

Both sides of his culture are musical. As a young man, he benefits from a world-class education in the most prestigious American Schools of Music in France (American School of Modern Music, Bill Evans Piano Academy), always maintaining a strong link with his native Morocco. Ten years later, he has a decisive experience that will change the course of his life and opens the doors to popular sufi mysticism : he meets the renowned maalem gnaoui Mahmoud Guinea.

Idriss El Mehdi learns to play the guembri and forges his musical identity: « As a pianist by vocation, for so many years I was used to having 88 musical notes at my fingertips to expess myself, now I found myself faced with only three simple strings made out of goat’s gut. And in those strings found the whole history of music since its creation».

The young man gains experience with different bands moving between afro-jazz, lyrical songs, and collaborations with big names in French Pop and Rock (Axel Bauer, Calogero, Julie Zenatti, Hubert Mounier…) and also internationally (Cerrone, Luz Casal, Gary Christian…).

The native from Casablanca draws on his multiple identities, between his African roots and his Rock and Blues Anglo-Saxon musical culture, and builds the essential material for the composition of this first album « Wild Bird ». From there he develops an acoustic blues spirit and adds rhythm. He intelligently mixes a deep bass into his grainy sound, along with vertiginous guitar slides, a touch of minimalist piano, all harmonised by a strong rhythmic beat.