She is called “the oriental pearl”, “the icon of popular song” or “the living legend”. But what is certain is that everyone agrees about her love for Morocco and her attachment to her origins.
Raymonde El bidaouia was named after Casablanca, the city where she was born in 1943, before imigrating to Israel at the age of 18, then to Canada and France, where she settled.
She is an Israeli artist of Moroccan Jewish origin. Her name has always been associated for years with popular song, whose heritage she has revived by reinterpreting the rich and timeless repertoire. Thus, she became the pioneer and standard bearer of this type of song.
Raymonde did not deny her Moroccan origins or her dialect. Even after settling in Israel, she insisted on speaking and singing in Moroccan dialectal Arabic despite all the criticism she received. She had the merit of bringing Moroccan popular music to Israel. In addition to singing, she also created a theater company that gave all its shows in Moroccan Arabic.
Raymonde was known to Moroccans thanks in particular to the song “Al adama ma mannouch”, famous in the eighties, but also thanks to other popular songs such as “Attoumoubil” and “Idirha al kass”, so many hits that we have sung up to the day at weddings, and events, and to which Raymonde brought a particular touch. Her melodious voice and stage movements contributed to her notoriety to the point where, amazed by her voice, the late King Hassan II invited her to sing before him in his palace, as he used to do with renowned Moroccan and Arab artists.
Raymonde, whose real name was Raymonde Cohen Abecassis, loved the songs of Nass El Ghiwane, as well as those of giants such as Abdelwahab Doukkali, Naima Samih, El Alami and El Gharbawi, whom she frequently performed during her concerts. Bouchaib El bidaoui and Hajja El Hamdaouia were her idols. She performed a song with Hajja El Hamdaouia in duet at the “Andalusia Essaouira” festival of which she was a faithful friend and of which the audience discovered that despite long years of absence, Raymonde has not lost any of her performances.
Abdessalam Khaloufi, artistic director of this festival, said that “Raymonde is like a bee that moves between the masterpieces of the Moroccan musical repertoire. »