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Souad Massi

Souad Massi is a talented and courageous young guitarist and vocalist from Algeria, now based in Paris. She was born in 1972 and has  spent a lot of time seriously studying music with the ambition to become a singer. Other members of her family are also performers. At one point Souad was in a flamenco band but this did not succeed. With determination she formed a new rock band, Atakor, with whom she toured in Algeria for seven years and recorded a top-selling cassette and 2 videos. Reminiscent of what Joan Baez said in the 1960s, she was not satisfied with being just an entertainer and became outspoken but this was a difficult stand to take and still remain in Algeria, especially for a young woman. She lost her job in town planning.
In 1999 Souad got the chance to go to Paris to perform in the 'Femmes d'Algerie' concert. Her stunning performance led to a contract with Island Records. The resulting beautiful album, Raoui, (Storyteller), has been a critical and commercial success in France. Some of the tracks are in Arabic and others in French. This debut album has sold well in Britain and world-wide, see CDs. Souad's music can be described as rock and traditional. Instruments she uses are electric and flamenco guitars, Arabic lute, gumbri (Saharan acoustic bass) and karkabous (Saharan metal castanets). In 2003 Souad's second album, Deb was been released. On it the essence of her music remains the same: moving poetic love songs and highly enjoyable swaying rhythms as well as more musical styles and orchestration. Keeping up the momentum, Souad has recorded a beautiful 3rd album, Honeysuckle (mesk

elil). Two notable songs are duets with Daby Toure and with Rabah Khalfa.
In October 2001 Souad was on stage at
WOMEX in Rotterdam and got
everyone's attention. Her fame is spreading more as 
she was also nominated for the Newcomer
Award at the January 2002 Radio 3 World Music Awards. Algeria is always in the heart of both her music and life and she would like to make a positive contribution. Her family is still in Algeria but she wants to take advantage of the freedom of expression she has in Europe. She denounces the oppressors without being boastful nor activist. She feels that to remain silent would mean that terrorists have won and that all the intellectuals they murdered died for nothing.

Souad has toured, supporting Orchestre National de Barbes, Thierry Titi Robin, Geoffrey Oryema and Idir.
Visit: a beautiful web site that has details of Souad's very busy touring schedule in Europe. Also for more info click and join this group: Souad Massi List. Souad  was on stage at WOMAD Reading 2002 and was part of London's African Music Festival in May 2003. We look forward to seeing and hearing lots more from her!