Al Awni Bouarane, better known as Abdelwahab Doukkali, was born on January 1st 1941 in Fès, Morocco. Drawn to the world of arts from his earliest years, he took an interest in theatre, drawing and painting before starting to sing in Casabalanca at the beginning of the sixties. In 1962, he leaves Morocco to settle down in Cairo, where his fame burgeoned. A singer songwriter awarded a number of honorary titles of international significance, he became, through the decades, one of the greatest figures of Middle-Eastern music.
His repertoire, mostly traditional, fills the grooves of about twenty albums and some thirty singles. It holds a few surprising gems that bring together his eastern sensibility with the rhythms and harmonies of western rock: a handful of twists at the beginning of the sixties and more particularly the notable Je Suis Jaloux, sung in French and released on the label Philips in 1967. The track, recorded “as a matter of curiosity” according to the singer, is an outsider of the master’s discography. In an interview for the daily Aujourd’hui le Maroc in February 2017 he expressed his regrets for not pursuing a broader career in France: “One day I got to Paris and found people dancing to my song Je Suis Jaloux. Unfortunately I left Paris - that was a mistake. The company I was working with had offered great conditions but I am a child of the sun and the spring; I came across a cold period that lasted and led me to leave this city I still dream about”.
Today Abdelwahab Doukkali shares his time between singing and painting and lives in Casablanca.