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Souad Massi
Souad Massi TFF 01.JPG
Souad Massi at TFF Rudolstadt 2013.
Background information
Born (1972-08-23) August 23, 1972 (age 42)
Algiers, Algeria
Genres Rock, Country, Fado, Algerian folk music, World music
Occupation(s) Musician, Songwriter
Instruments Vocals, Guitar, Oud
Years active 1989–present
Labels Island
Website www.souadmassi.net

Souad Massi (سعاد ماسي), 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.

Childhood and early bands[edit]

Massi was born in Algiers, Algeria to a poor family of seven children.[1] Encouraged by her older brother, she began studying music at a young age, singing and playing guitar.[1] Growing up, she immersed herself in American country and roots music – musical styles that would later strongly influence her songwriting.[2] At the age of seventeen, she joined a flamenco band, but quickly grew bored with the group and left.

Massi performing in 2005

In the early 1990s, Massi joined the Algerian political rock band Atakor, who were influenced by Western rock bands such as Led Zeppelin and U2. She recorded and performed with the group for seven years, releasing a successful album and two popular music videos.[3] The band, however, with its political lyrics and growing popularity became a target. Massi disguised herself by cutting her hair and dressing in male clothing, but she nevertheless became the target of a series of death threats.[1] In 1999, she left the band and moved to Paris, France.

Solo career[edit]

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.[4] In June 2001, she released her solo debut album, Raoui ("Storyteller"), which Allmusic compared to 1960s American folk music.[5] Sung mostly in French and Arabic, the album became a critical and commercial success in France.[3] The following year, she was nominated for "Best Newcomer" at the Radio 3 World Music Awards.[6]

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.[7] 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.

In 2010, she released her fourth studio album Ô Houria. This album was produced by Francis Cabrel and Francoise Michel. It features Paul Weller on piano and vocals on its closing song.


Solo albums[edit]

Preceded by
Victoires de la Musique
World music album of the year
Mesk Elil
by Souad Massi

Succeeded by
by Agnès Jaoui


  1. ^ a b c "Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved January 1, 2007.
  2. ^ "Africa's shining music stars". BBC News. Retrieved January 1, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Souad Massi". African Musician Profiles. Retrieved January 1, 2007.
  4. ^ Martin Longley (14 October 2005). "Souad Massi: Outcast in her native land". Independent. Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2009. 
  5. ^ Chris Nickson. "Review of Raoui". Allmusic. Retrieved January 1, 2007.
  6. ^ Cornwell, Jane. "Belly dancing in the aisles". Evening Standard. Retrieved April 27, 2009.
  7. ^ "Souad Massi (Algeria)". BBC Radio 3. Retrieved January 1, 2007.
  8. ^ Wrasse Records 096, booklet contains English translations of sung texts only

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Souad_Massi — Please support Wikipedia.
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95068 videos foundNext > 

Souad MASSI Live Acoustic 2007.avi

Souad Massi - Ghair Inta - سعاد ماسي - غير إنتا

English is modified to conform to Arabic structure. Italics are inserted for contextual necessity. © Artist: Souad Massi سعاد ماسي. This is an educational vi...

Souad Massi | Raoui

"Raoui" restera certainement avec "Ghir Enta" comme une des meilleures chansons de Souad Massi. J'en donne ici une variante personnelle en 16:9, travaillée à...

Souad Massi - Khalouni (Let me)

http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/souad-massi/id13453210 Souad Massi Khalouni Translation: Tell me why you think T 'are with us and you're all alone People a...

Souad Massi - Ya Kalbi -LIVE- سعاد ماسي - يا قلبي

Soula 3 With Soad Massi - Shahar Taha - Shama Hamdan Part1

Soula .. Al Saadiyat Season صولا .. موسم السعديات Executive Producer : Tarek El Arian Senior Producer : Mousa Eesa Line Producer : Anas Nasri Official Page :...

Souad Massi & Eric Fernandez - Festival Arabesques 2013

Festival Arabesques : le seul festival en Europe dédié aux arts du monde arabe. Arabesques Festival: First and unique festival in Europe dedicated to the Ara...

Souad Massi - Rani Rayha

Ghir Enta -غير انت - سعاد ماسي - Souad Massi

اغنية باللهجة الجزائرية للفنانة الملتزمة سعاد ماسي.

Souad Massi - Le bien et le mal

Louken aata rabi el youm ma rani n'ghani fel demaat kitlaquit maa zahri quali quadouni oua tmer mat Kayen liyabki aala zahrou Kayen lihayabki fouq quabrou Ka...

95068 videos foundNext > 

940 news items

The Guardian

The Guardian
Mon, 03 Nov 2014 07:58:49 -0800

Souad Massi is one of north Africa's finest, most original singers, but she has had an uneven career. An Algerian exile based in France, she started out as a cool guitar-playing singer-songwriter who was compared to Françoise Hardy for her charmingly ...

Middle East Monitor (blog)

Middle East Monitor (blog)
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 07:06:02 -0800

Souad Massi "I like folk music, and country music, too. In fact, I was listening to Kenny Rogers just recently. I know a lot of people smile when they hear me say that," Souad Massi tells me. Algeria, where the engineer turned singer Massi is from, is ...

So So Gay

So So Gay
Wed, 05 Nov 2014 21:03:48 -0800

Algerian chanteuse Souad Massi has made a home for herself in France. After receiving death threats as a result of her band Atakor's political stance, the sonsgstress relocated. Boasting a stunning back catalogue recorded in Algerian Arabic, French, as ...
The Electronic Intifada (blog)
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:56:15 -0800

Palestine's official entry to the Academy Awards' best foreign film category for 2015, Eyes of a Thief stars prominent Egyptian actor Khaled Abol Naga and the celebrated Algerian singer/songwriter Souad Massi. The screening will be followed by a ...

La Gazette du Val d'Oise

La Gazette du Val d'Oise
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 02:13:53 -0800

Voici une rencontre au sommet. Souad Massi, chanteuse à la voix d'or et au talent étincelant ; Éric Fernandez, guitariste de génie aux influences gitanes. Ce duo exceptionnel vous emmène sur les terres de Cordoue, la ville tolérante de l'Espagne médiévale.

BBC News

BBC News
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:24:40 -0800

She's had help from one of her English teachers, who's also given her the chance to keep in touch with friends and family back in the camp she once called home. Souad Massi is an Algerian singer songwriter. Her success has come despite many obstacles.

Côté yvelines

Côté yvelines
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 02:41:15 -0800

La chanteuse algérienne Souad Massi et le guitariste français hispanisant Éric Fernandez ont en commun la passion de la musique et le goût du métissage. C'est de là qu'est né ce spectacle “Les chœurs de Cordoue”, en référence à la ville andalouse qui ...
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 06:18:47 -0700

Ahram Hebdo (AH): You have been invited to perform at the music festival in Tel Aviv. Time and again, you refused to sing in Israel. How do you explain this choice? Souad Massi (SM): Each time I receive an invitation that comes from this city, I decline.

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