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Souad Massi

Idioma disponible: inglés
An enchanting and eclectic troubadour of world music, singer/songwriter Saoud Massi has built a truly diverse catalog that fuses Chaâbi and other North African traditions with classical, folk-rock, bossa nova, and a panoply of other styles. Pegged as a political firebrand in her native Algeria, she settled in France where she launched a successful solo career with acclaimed releases like 2003's Deb and 2010's Ô Houria. With each subsequent album, Massi added different layers to her sound, whether exploring ancient Arabic texts on 2015's lush El Mutakallimûn or fusing together Sahelian and Brazilian styles on 2022's Sequana. One of seven siblings born into a poor Muslim household in 1972, Massi spent her formative years in Bab el-Oued, a suburb of Algiers. She absorbed a love of music from her piano-playing brother who, despite protestations from their father, convinced their less traditional-minded mother that the guitar lessons she yearned for were worth the investment. Outside of classical and Arab-Andalusian music, her early influences were decidedly western, ranging from American folk and country music to rock bands like AC/DC and INXS as well as poetic singer/songwriters like Leonard Cohen. At the age of 17 she joined a short-lived flamenco group, but quickly lost interest. For her next project, Massi signed on to front Atakor, a heavy-rock band with political leanings. Her seven years recording and performing with Atakor earned her a troublemaker's reputation in fundamentalist Algeria, where she became the target general scorn and even death threats. By the end of the '90s, Massi had begun recording her own music and relocated to Paris. One of her early shows there was part of the Femmes d’Algérie festival which drew acclaim and helped earn her a label deal with Island Records. Her 2001 debut solo album, Raoui, was a mix of traditional Chaâbi music with undertones of American folk and rock sung largely in Arabic and French. It was a significant success in France and she was subsequently named a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. Her 2003 follow-up, Deb, took a more personal and poetic bent, eschewing the more overt politics of her debut. Its melancholy ballads, sung in Arabic, French, and English, melted into rock, folk, flamenco, and classical backdrops. Massi's third release, 2005's Mesk Elil, addressed themes of loss and exile and featured collaborations with artists like Daby Touré and Pascal Danaë. It too was a chart success in France and won a Victoires de la Musique award for Best World Music Album. After stripping down her songs into more intimate acoustic versions on the 2007 live album Acoustic: The Best of Souad Massi, she entered the next decade with 2010's Ô Houria. Her first album to be sung almost entirely in French, it was produced by singer/songwriter Francis Cabrel and featured a guest spot from England's Paul Weller. During this period she also began a collaboration with guitarist Eric Fernandez on Choeurs de Cordoue, a project devoted to Arab-Adalusian music. 2015's El Mutakallimûn marked Massi's most ambitious album to date. Setting to music texts by renowned Arabic poets like Abu Madi and Abou El Kacem Chebbi, the album skewed in a more classical direction mixed with layers of African, Algerian, and bossa nova. It was followed by several years of touring in a trio format with percussionist Rabah Khalfa and guitarist Mehdi Dalil. With 2019's Oumniya, Massi returned to a more politically conscious style of songwriting that rang with themes of humanism and emancipation. He musical explorations continued into the next decade with 2022's vibrant Sequana with its tones melding of Algerian, Brazilian, West African, and myriad other styles.
© Timothy Monger & Tammy La Gorce /TiVo
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11 álbum(es) • Ordenado por Mejores ventas

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