Friday, October 24, 2008

Souad Massi

Souad Massi, is an Algerian of Kabyle descent, singer, songwriter and guitarist. She fled her homeland after being hounded out by Islamic fundamentalists who took exception to her promotion of independence for young women.

The Storyteller by Souad Massi

In the early 1990s, Massi joined the Algerian political band Atakor. She recorded and performed with the group for seven years. The band, however, with its political lyrics and growing popularity, became a target of fundamentalists. Massi disguised herself by cutting her hair and dressing in male clothing before moving to Paris, France.

Khalouni by Souad Massi

In Paris, she started to create her own unique blend of folk, rock, flamenco and shaabi (Arabic street pop), releasing her acclaimed debut album Raoui ("Storyteller") in 2001. She's toured prolifically for the past few years, and won a Planet Award at the 2006 BBC world music awards. She is defiantly outspoken about the problems in Algeria: "Remaining silent would mean that terrorists have won and that all the intellectuals they murdered died for nothing," she says.