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Diaspo #101 : Hind Laroussi, the Netherlands’ sweetheart and LA's rising star

Hind Laroussi is a Moroccan-Dutch singer who reached fame after participating to Dutch TV show Idols as a teenager. After building herself a successful career in Europe, she moved to the United States to reach a wider audience. In Los Angeles, her song made it to the top five in the billboard charts.

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Moroccan-Dutch singer Hind Laroussi. / Ph. DR

Growing up, Hind had a dream and knew how to achieve it. From singing at school and in local stages and contests in the Netherlands to releasing a hit song that conquered the US billboard charts, the Moroccan-Dutch singer succeeded in making her dream come true.

Her journey started in Gouda, a small Dutch city south of Amsterdam, where she was raised in a family that brought Europe and Africa together. «My father left Tangier for the Netherlands to study hotel management and that’s how he met my mother», said Hind Laroussi Tahiri.

Hind, who is born to a Muslim father and a Catholic mother, went to a Christian school as a kid, but was also attending a Moroccan school on Mondays. «I was raised as a Muslim but my family and I celebrated both Muslim and Christian holidays», she proudly told Yabiladi.

During her childhood, Hind had a special relationship with her Moroccan roots. Every year, she would go to Morocco to spend the summer with her grandfather and other family members. «I have so many childhood memories of Morocco», Hind recalled, adding that in the Netherlands she had long-lasting memories of gatherings with the Dutch part of her family.

Singing and winning the public's heart

With these great family bonds, Hind found out that she had something to share. While singing at a school event, the young girl realized that she could sing. She was only twelve when her parents saw it in her too.

«My parents heard me singing and they were surprised because they did not know I could sing», she recalled. Shortly after, Hind started taking singing classes. Her talent did not go unnoticed afterwards. The young girl was invited to perform at Germany’s TMF Dance Party.

Her first TV appearance in the Netherlands followed shortly after. In 2002, she participated in Soundmixshow, a Dutch talent show. «All contestants were imitating famous singers (…) I was imitating Vanessa Williams and managed to reach the finals», she said.

One year later, Hind made her second appearance, becoming the Netherlands’ sweetheart. The Moroccan singer was part of the first edition of the Netherlands’ Idols. «I auditioned for Idols and that program basically changed my life», she said.

Although Hind did not win the competition, she debuted her career as a singer right after the show. It opened doors for her and it made the then-teenage girl famous. «It actually helped me sign contracts with record labels and management teams (…) it just went very fast after Idols», the singer indicated.

Indeed, Hind released her debut album «Around the World», which was influenced by her Moroccan roots. Her songs were a huge success in the Netherlands and in 2004 she received the Edison Award for the Best New Dutch Artist.

However, fame and success were difficult to deal with at the beginning. «My privacy was gone», Hind said, adding : «Everything was new to me (…) I was just a child and I had situations when I couldn’t walk out of the crowd».

Thanks to her family's support, Hind managed her new world as a famous singer in the Netherlands. For almost fifteen years, she released songs, toured the Netherlands and Morocco too. Making music, the young artist insisted on including parts that reminded her of her heritage.

In the Kingdom, she performed in Casablanca and in Agadir at the Timitar festival. «It was great, Timitar was so special to me because I performed in front of a crowd that did not know me (…) but, surprisingly, it turned out to be the best performance of my whole life», she proudly told Yabiladi.

Starting all over again

After leading a successful career in the Netherlands, Hind made a decision that was challenging, yet fruitful. The singer who had managed to gain traction in her country decided to leave everything behind to pursue a childhood dream.

«Four years ago, I had an offer in Los Angeles, so I left everything for that (…) my family and friends, to start all over again».

Hind Laroussi

Leaving the Netherlands for the United States was not an easy step for the singer. The beginning was hard, especially in California, where everyone is trying to make it. «It was one of the toughest decisions I had ever made, but I knew I had to do it to elevate my music and move to another level», Hind explained.

In LA, Hind has been rubbing shoulders with the best music producers in the industry. «I started working with the people who produced music for Bruno Mars and that was a dream for me because this is what I envisioned myself doing (…) just working with people who understand music», she added.

Hind’s hard work ended up paying off. Her song «Lost» from her upcoming album (A+) reached the fourth place in the US billboard charts. «After that success I started to build more and we are currently working on the second single and making more music», Hind happily announced.

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