Souad Massi's wish for freedom
With her new album "Oumniya", the Kabylian singer Souad Massi tackles the hardships facing her native country.
Since her arrival in France at the end of the 90s fleeing Algerian fundamentalism, Souad Massi has become the ambassador on both sides of the Mediterranean not only for a young generation thirsty for freedom but also for women repressed by macho domination.
Carried for a long time by a major label, her folk rock infused with both North African and Western traditions, along with her bold and miraculous singing, have been round the world.
After a few years under the radar, she returns with Oumniya, (“my wish”) at a time her country is rising up against the rigid diktats of a corrupt one-party government. Her voice, her charm and her message have not been weakened.
Between both intoxicating chaabi music and silky pop, Souad Massi covers anger, love, the intimate and the melancholic. Her lyrics are penned either by herself or by the Cairo native Nader Abdellah (Salam, with music from Khaled Izz), François Mallet-Joris (Pays Natal, composed by Marie-Paul Belle) or by Magyd Cherfi on the final track Je Chante.
The perfect balance of levity and depth, Oumniya should put Souad Massi in her rightful place: at the forefront of the scene.