::: In 1997, Zakaria, GnawArt founding member was studying food technology at the Technical University of Berlin. While there, he met Eyob Mulatu, an Ethiopian student where they became very good friends. They started composing together and drawing on their inspiration from the bonds existing between their two cultures. At this time and in Berlin, Zakaria began his musical and artistic career.
In 2002 he performed with his band Laouina for the radio station SFB Multikulti (Berlin) as a part of the music festival “Fête de la Musique”.
During the same period of time, he contributed as a guest and as an artistic consultant to the recording of Gnawa Impulse’s remix album.
After Laouina’s breakup in 2003, he did not perform for two years and dedicated himself to researching the origins of Gnawi music. During this break, he organized meetings and jam sessions with various African musicians living and working in Berlin.
At the end of 2004, he met Sako Djilifily, a young Kora maker and player from Mali, Djillifili is an exceptionally talented artist and cousin of the famous Malian Kora player,Toumani Diabaté, who recently released the album “In the Heart of the Moon” with Ali Farka Touré.
In 2005, Zakaria produced the Malgeria Project with Djilifily. Three other artists also contributed to the album, each of them bringing a long and rich musical career and experience into the project: the Algerian musician M. Messabihi, the American saxophonist/composer Fuasi Abdul-Khaliq and the South-African saxophonist/composer William Ramsay. All of them contricuted a very creative and emotional nature to the project which reaches peaks with the interpretation of such tracks as "Saïda " of the late diva Cheikha Rimitti and " Promenade " of Modest Mussorgsky (1839-81). The latter, produced for an exhibition for the Kunsthalle of Bremen.
The long collaboration of Zakaria and his friend Adam Chalk, musician and producer, resulted in the 2007 production of the track “Lilla”, a mixture of reggae, gnawa and andalousian sounds blended into one beautiful mix. Lilla’s lyrics are dedicated to all innocent people dying in wars for petrol and false ideologies.
The track “Lilla” as well as two new songs inspired by two poems of Hélène Pintier are available in the demo CD of GnawArt Project.