Tunisian singer/songwriter Emel Mathlouthi began writing guitar-based songs with political messages when she was a student in the mid-2000s. By 2008 her songs had gained enough of a profile to have been banned from radio by the Tunisian government, and Mathlouthi moved to Paris to pursue her music unfettered by censorship and governmental oppression. By 2012, her debut album, Kelmti Horra, arrived, merging her folkier beginnings with electronic elements inspired by influences like Björk and Massive Attack. The album was a huge success, with some songs being adopted as unofficial anthems of political uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. The years that followed saw Mathlouthi's fame as both a musician and a political force grow, as she delivered her messages of liberation and fearless resistance in concerts and public appearances around the world. Her second album, Ensen, materialized in the early months of 2017. ~ Fred Thomas
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