The MOGA Festival’s mission is quite wholesome when we sit down and actually think about it. By essence, the sonic meeting, which just hosted its fourth edition in Essaouira last week, seeks to bring the Moroccan Kingdom’s slew of confirmed artists together, provide them with a platform to creatively express themselves, and unlock high-stake opportunities, all while nurturing the scene and paving an easier path for the next generation to follow.
Attendees of this year’s iteration, including ourselves after being invited by the Fashion and Arts Moroccan Association (FAMA), will be able to testify for themselves, but looking back, it’s true that a star-studded lineup did in fact make its way to the North African country to play some of the crowd’s favorite beats and fast-paced tracks. From Habibi Funk and Acid Arab toMr.ID, Jimi Jules, and Retro Cassetta, a handful of the industry’s most established names took to the 2022 MOGA festival stage, in addition to a few newcomers, who were also called up by organizers to get party-goers dancing until the early hours of the morning.
Among them is Bloko, a 23-year-old DJ whose passion for discs and decks runs in his blood. The globetrotting artist, who splits his time between Casablanca and Madrid, was first introduced to electronic music through his father, who also happens to be a DJ himself. “My passion for DJing kicked off when I was quite young,” Bloko told MILLE. “I distinctly remember my Dad celebrating his 40th birthday and receiving a fresh set-up as a present.”
The DJ, who was 12 at the time, recalls experimenting with the musical equipment, and “from one thing to another, next thing you know, I just became addicted to it,” he says. “Thanks to my father, I realized how many feelings, emotions, and messages could be communicated through music, and I’d say that it is also one of the main reasons why I became a DJ myself,” he added.
So it was only natural that Bloko would go on to make his festival debut at the last edition of MOGA alongside his father, the person who initially sparked his interest in music and techno. The newly-minted DJ was only 19 at the time, making him the youngest DJ to perform at the annual Moroccan electronic music festival.
“It’s funny that I’m sat here at MOGA again,” mused Bloko. “The last time I was here, it was just before COVID-19 hit, in 2019 to be precise, and my dad and I had the opportunity to close the festival off, back-to-back, from 3:00 to 5:00 a.m. I keep such a fond memory of it, the connection we both had on stage was incredible – and I feel like the crowd felt it too,” he recalled affectionately.
Voir cette publication sur Instagram
It’s rare to meet someone who discovered electronic music from their old man— in fact, it’s usually the other way around. “I learned so much from [my dad] and I still do if I’m being completely honest,” said Bloko.
Fun fact: Bloko’s first live appearances happened before he was even legally allowed to enter the venues he would be programmed in. One can only imagine how difficult it is to navigate this industry when transitioning from a teenager to an adult — a process he explains was made easier thanks to his father’s help and guidance.
Voir cette publication sur Instagram
“He’s got this way of carrying himself, a certain way of looking at things with such calm and zen that’s so positive and helpful when making your first steps as an aspiring DJ,” admits Bloko. “Just looking at him mix at parties, or even at home, with such energy and passion, makes me want to double my efforts and make him proud,” he added.
Obviously being coached by your dad comes with a lot of perks, but it could also have some downsides, too. Regardless of the discipline, following in your father’s steps is far from being an easy task as it can come with a lot of pressure that, if not handled properly, can ruin your whole experience and put you off completely. On that matter, Bloko claims to be in total symbiosis with his pops when it comes to music.
“With all due respect, I feel like the student is slowly leveling up with the master,” professed the young DJ “I think it would be safe to say that he’s proud of what I’m accomplishing and doing, which makes me feel over the moon. We both share this interest in music, and each time we sit down to discuss whatever aspect of it, it’s a moment made of pure love, which I’m really lucky to be able to have with him,” Bloko revealed, before explaining the generational difference between him and his father.
“My generation is exposed to so much music, way more than our peers ever were. With that being said though, I also think that my generation creates less, as we all listen to more or less the same tracks, and tend to mimic a style or sound that has potential to go viral rather than creating one of your own,” he said.
“I feel like crate-digging culture was way bigger, as to put your hands on any record required effort and energy, so you had to make your time’s worth. There was no social media, no Instagram, no Spotify, you had to physically get yourself to the closest shop, listen to God knows how many tracks to maybe go back home with one that you think would suit your set best. I don’t want to fall into that, I want to carry my own sonic identity and make people dance on something that is intrinsic to me,” he concluded.
Just like any other area of the cultural realm, to be able to stand out requires bringing something new to the table, which Bloko, alongside his father, are making sure on doing until they catapult themselves as household names in the regional, and soon, international scene.