Interview with the Razz-Master

الأربعاء 05 كانون الأول 2007 sat down with, Aziz Maraka, the father of ‘razz’ to get the inside scoop on the motivation and inspiration of this rising musician.

7iber: Tell us a little about yourself, where you grew and where you hail from.

Maraka: I was born in Tunisia in 1983, lived there for 10 years, then had to move with my parents to Jordan where I grew up as an average Jordanian kid from Amman.
I always had a keyboard that I played, and did a few updates on the kind of keyboard I owned. I started taking piano lessons with Travelian Sako when I was 12 years old. I have an 8th grade certificate granted from Trinity College – London in piano.

To be honest, I never cared for Classical Performance, but I always had a thing for Composition, so in 2001, I went to the Music Academy of Jordan for one year, then I was granted a scholarship to study in the U.S.A where I finished my Bachelor studies in Music Composition.

7iber: Who are your favorite artists/singers? Who do you think influences your music the most? Are there any other influences (parents, significant others, events, region instability) that has affected your music?

Maraka: I don’t have a favorite Artist or Singer, but I do prefer certain tunes and musical phrases better than others. I must say, as an artist, I am influenced by certain events or phases that I have experienced in my life. War is certainly one of these, but also, as a Jordanian who lived in the States, once I spoke of war, I had to deliver my message to the American people at that time, so my song “Ebki” talks about the foolish invader that never learned from history, he will never see that his power will come to an end just like the Romans, Persians, and other civilization. And as a Jordanian, I was able to deliver my message to the Americans, because I know, as a Muslim Arab, how our Muslim Empire came to an end when no one saw it coming. So, my personal experience does influence my thoughts when I compose a song.

7iber: What do you consider your music, Arabic, folk music, fusion etc? Do you write it yourself or does someone help you write? Why do you sing in Arabic?

Maraka: this new genre of music I came up with is called Razz (Rock, Arabic, Jazz). It is hard to understand this genre if you haven’t heard it. It has the energy from rock, but it is still pure Jordanian thoughts and Arabic tunes. The Jazz smoothes is out a little, so you get Razz.

I write the lyrics, tunes, and arrangements. Arrangement is my favorite part of the composition process because it is what helps deliver all of my thoughts through instrumentation and effects.

I don’t consider myself as an Arab singer, I am more of a Jordanian Performer. I sing in “Ammani” Dialect, because it has its own logic and psychological presentation. The way I see it, Jordanian, Lebanese, and Egyptian dialects only share the same original language, but they do not share the same logic. I sing in Jordanian because it is the language I use when I want to express myself in daily life.

7iber: Why should people support local Jordanian and Arab musicians? Why should Jordanians support you?

Maraka: I think local artists are getting the whole “support” idea the wrong way. If you don’t have much to give to listeners, you can’t just expect them to support you in return. They have to like your music, and in return you have to work hard on your production. Also, in a country like Jordan, where we don’t have that big of a music scene, you can’t just write music and wait for someone to discover it.You have to take the initiative to spread your product around.

As for myself, I did some long talking with Orange, and I talked them into supporting my first Album. We signed an agreement on the 27th of June 2007, and according to this agreement, Mobilecom funded all of the costs for the album, and will be funding further products, such as a upcoming video clip in addition to several other sponsors that will be funding the video clip. You would be surprised how much money and marketing this can provide an artist with.

I can’t specify one reason why people should support me or any local artist. Real support comes from a mutual relationship between the artist and the listener. Good music will create real fans and that’s the kind of support I personally am looking for.

7iber: Do you have a record company or a record deal that is supporting and recording music for you? Where and how do you record your music?

Maraka: As I explained before, Mobilecom is my partner in my upcoming album. What is unique about this album is that 8 of the songs are recorded from a Live show in Amman. After it was recorded and filmed, we had to do some over dubbing in the studio under the supervision of Haythem Rashad, my friend and the man in charge of all of the technical processes in the recording studio.

7iber: Where is your music available to buy in Jordan and online?

Answer: The first album will be distributed for free in Amman, and will be available for free download on

aziz maraka

[Editor’s note: The spelling of the artist’s last name is spelled ‘Maraka,’ because that is what the artist uses. The name could also be spelled Maraqa.]

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