Simo Lagnawi wins World Music Network’s Battle of the Bands

Posted on June 14th, 2013 in News, Recent posts by .

World Music Network announce the latest winner in their Battle of the Bands

Simo Lagnawi is a Moroccan Gnawa maalem (master musician) and guembri (lute) player, who honed his craft with Gnawa masters in Morocco for 20 years before establishing himself as the UK’s premier guembri player. This week he has been named winner of World Music Network’s Battle of the Bands.

Lagnawi won the WMN battle with his high-energy acrobatic dancing combined with strident vocals, qaraqab (metal castanets) and guembri playing. Through his desire to ‘take Gnawa past its traditional limitations’ as well as keeping the traditional form of Gnawa alive, Lagnawi continues to step beyond the boundaries of the traditional in his collaborations in projects such as Electric Jalaba and Kamba Band

Voted for by WMN’s fans, Lagnawi topped the list with his track ‘Baniyorkoy’. This song will appear on a forthcoming project with World Music Network. 

Photography by Hassan Hajjaj




See a video of the winning track:


Simo Lagnawi’s debut album Gnawa London will be reviewed in our next issue, Aug/Sept 2013 (#94) on sale July 19. Visit Simo Lagnawi’s website to find out more.

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