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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
Years active 1989–present
Labels Island
Website [ https://www.facebook.com/Souad.Massi]

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 six 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. She was the italian variety show's guest star "Non facciamoci prendere dal panico" in 2006 by italian singer and showman Gianni Morandi.

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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2551 news items

The Guardian

The Guardian
Thu, 14 May 2015 09:30:40 -0700

Given what has happened in North Africa and across the Middle East, has she been able to change that? “I am happy, but still melancholy. I can't ignore everything that is going on in the world.” • Souad Massi plays the Barbican, London, on 31 May, and ...

Financial Times

Financial Times
Fri, 22 May 2015 09:52:30 -0700

On a sultry night in Tunis, a youthful crowd leaps to its feet waving lighters and smartphones as Souad Massi sings Arabic lines that take them back to the Jasmine Revolution four years ago. The words are not those of the Algerian-born singer ...

Le Télégramme

Le Télégramme
Sat, 23 May 2015 16:52:06 -0700

Souad Massi La chanteuse algérienne Souad Massi rend hommage aux grands poètes arabes en mettant en musique quelques-uns de leurs textes dans un nouveau disque visant à faire découvrir une « face cachée du monde arabe ». Composé de dix ...

Mynewsdesk (pressmeddelande)

Mynewsdesk (pressmeddelande)
Thu, 21 May 2015 03:42:38 -0700

Malmö Live Konserthus lyfter under hösten fram den brokiga och vibrerande musikscenen kring länderna runt södra Medelhavet. Det blir gränsöverskridande musikaliska uttryck av Souad Massi och Hindi Zahra, två fantastiska singer/songwriters som båda ...


Wed, 29 Apr 2015 05:45:00 -0700

Néo Géo reçoit cette semaine la chanteuse Souad Massi et Sébastien Broquet, directeur artistique des Electropicales. Souad Massi et Electropicales. L'Invitée : Souad Massi est une chanteuse algérienne née le 23 août 1972 à Alger dans le quartier de Bab ...


Radio Mosaique FM
Fri, 15 May 2015 03:41:15 -0700

L'inauguration du nouvel Institut français de Tunisie (Petit Carnot) à l'avenue de Paris (Tunis) a eu lieu dans la soirée de ce jeudi 14 mai en présence de plusieurs jeunes tunisiens mais aussi d'étrangers venus en masse assister à un concert qui s'est ...
Middle East Eye
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:11:15 -0700

In her new album, El-mutakallimun, Souad Massi follows in the footsteps of the legendary poets of the Arab-Muslim Andalusia. The artist, through 10 beautiful texts illuminated by original compositions, brings into sharp focus the work of those poets ...
Český rozhlas
Sun, 10 May 2015 14:56:15 -0700

Zpěvačka Souad Massi pochází z vnitrozemí Alžírska, od mládí se věnovala hudbě, ale jako žena přitom často čelila předsudkům či dokonce výhružkám. Když před 16 lety získala pozvání na festival věnovaný alžírským ženám do Paříže, rozhodla se, že se ...

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