Farrah Boukhoubza

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This interview was part of the Brusseleir Digger exhibition, held in Brussels during Listen Festival 2018. The exhibition showcased 10 Brussels based record collectors and was the brainchild of Koen Galle (concept & texts) and photographer Thomas Sweertvaegher.

The daughter of a Belgian mother and a Moroccan father, Farrah remembers growing up amongst piles of records. Her teenage years were soundtracked by motown, soul and Arabic music. Even though she doesn’t speak Arabic, she still feels closely connected to her father’s homeland. “He often played music by Moroccan band Nass El Ghiwane, while my aunt was very fond of Egyptian singer Oum Kalthoum. I didn’t really like their music as a child, but now I’m crazy about it.”

Farrah has a nostalgic personality. She studied art history and gained experience as a researcher for the Musée Du Quai Branly in Paris. Sometimes she buys a record just because she adores the cover, to display it or to share the image online. She collects oriental dance album sleeves as well as everything by Peruvian singer Yma Sumac. “I love her music and personality so much that I even dedicated a tattoo to her on my arm. I prefer female voices over male ones, no question.”

She usually shops at the Marolles flea market, regularly checks the crates of second hand shops like Pêle-Mêle or Evasions or looks for bargains at record fairs. She also has some black metal and hard rock in her collection, preferably the work of bands with a focus on rituals and the mystic. She religiously hoards all she can find from Fleetwood Mac’s 60s British “Peter Green” period. Every time she comes across a Bob Marley release, she picks it up for her mother. “Her extended Marley collection got stolen years ago, so I give her at least one record every year.”

10 Records

  • The Byrds Younger Than Yesterday
  • Fleetwood Mac Then Play On
  • Yma Sumac, Moises Vivanco Inca Taqui
  • Nuray Akin Türkülerden Bir Demet
  • Özel Türkbas Dance Into Your Sultan's Heart
  • Nass El Ghiwane A Paris
  • عصام رجي = Issam Raggi عصام رجي = Issam Raggi
  • هيام يونس = Hiyam Younes Zafet El Aroussa 2
  • The Toraia Orchestra Of Algiers Arabian Love Songs
  • Various Super Belly Dance
Translated to English by: Tristan Jong