Souad Massi (born August 23, 1972), is an Algerian singer, songwriter and guitarist. She began her career performing in the Kabyle political rock band Atakor, before leaving the country following a series of death threats. In 1999, Massi performed at the Femmes d’Algerie concert in Paris, which led to a recording contract with Island Records.
Massi’s music, which prominently features the acoustic guitar, displays Western musical style influences such as rock, country or the Portuguese fado but sometimes incorporates oriental musical influences and oriental instruments like the oud as well as African musical stylings. Massi sings in Algerian Arabic, French, and occasionally English and Kabyle (Berber language), often employing multiple languages in the same song.
In 1999, Massi was invited to perform at the Femmes d’Algerie (“Women from Algeria”) festival in Paris, which led to a recording contract with Island Records. In June 2001, she released her solo debut album, Raoui (“Storyteller”), which Allmusic compared to 1960s American folk music. Sung mostly in French and Arabic, the album became a critical and commercial success in France. The following year, she was nominated for “Best Newcomer” at the Radio 3 World Music Awards.
In 2003, she released her second album, Deb (“Heartbroken”). The album’s lyrics were more personal, rather than political, and it became one of the most successful North African albums worldwide. Three years later, Massi released her third album, Mesk Elil (“Honeysuckle”). The album expanded on the themes of love and loss that had been explored on Deb, and featured duets with Daby Toure and Rabah Khalfa.
Until only a few years ago, a lot of people thought Algeria boiled down to rai, musically speaking of course. No one expected a young female singer songwriter with a style closer to Joni Mitchell than Chaba Fadela to emerge from the burbs of Algiers and take the world by storm.
Souad Massi grew up listening to black American soul, flamenco, hard rock and country & western, which she discovered courtesy of films like ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ and other westerns. Having endured the privations and tensions of Algeria in the 1990s, a decade when a bitter civil war between an army backed dictatorship and fundamentalist militias claimed over 100,000 lives, Souad came to Paris in 1998 to perform at a festival called ‘Femmes d’Alger’. Her show at the Cabaret Sauvage was a revelation for the unexpectant audience and a huge relief for Souad, a loosening of a pressure valve that had remained tightly closed during the last years of her life in Algiers.
She went on to release a widely-acclaimed debut CD, ‘Raoui’, which showcased her remarkable talent for writing songs that were simultaneously melodic, highly emotional and uncompromisingly relevant. In 2002 Souad followed it up with ‘Deb’, one of the most successful North African albums ever. Courage, talent, intelligence and beauty are always a seductive mix. Souad Massi has them all.
Courtesy of Andy Morgan, July 2004
1 – Honeysuckle (Mesk Elil) (05:18)
2 – Soon (Kilyoum) (03:31)
3 – Inspiration (Ilham) (03:48)
4 – I Won’t Forget My Roots (Miwana) (04:06)
5 – My Grandfather’s House (Dardjedi) (05:30)
6 – That’s Life (Denya Wezmen) (04:49)
7 – Tell Me Why (03:33)
8 – There’s Worse (Hagda Wala Akter) (05:04)
9 – Let Me (Khalouni) (03:31)
10 – Why Is My Heart Sad (Malou) (06:08)
11 – Mahli Remix (07:03)
12 – Ilham Remix(Mino Cinelu Fast Version) (04:13)
13 – Ilham Remix(Mino Cinelu Slow Version) (04:34)
Duration : 61:07 | Bitarte : 320 kBit/s | Year : 2005 | Size : 144 mb