Souad Massi is a soulful singer-songwriter from Algeria who follows her own muse, she has received death threats in her native country but is now selling hundreds of thousands of records around the globe. She began her career performing in the Kabyle political rock band Atakor. But in 1999 she performed at the Femmes d’Algerie concert in Paris, which led to a recording contract with Island Records. And as the old saying goes, she never looked back.
Souad Massi sings in Classical Arabic, Algerian Arabic, French, occasionally in English, and in the Berber language, Kabyle, often employing more than one language in the same song. And I stumble on with just English.
So we have a little of her background, but why are you really here? For the music of course. So let’s go.
We start with a beautiful song and her voice is beyond amazing. It’s great to see her having fun with the music. I’ve gotta go find me some of her albums. A very definite touch of the Portuguese fado in this track, and I just love fado music.
Concert acoustique à la Coupole
This time a bigger stage, but the music is still amazing.
Ya Kalbi – سعاد ماسي – يا قلبي
And the stages get bigger, this time with the full orchestra of Concerto dell’Epifania RAI 1. Still the best thing we hear from this stage is the warm beautiful voice of Souad Massi.
Now this is truly dramatic. Souad Massi here with Eric Fernandez at the Festival Arabesques in 2013. Started with a terrific Flamenco dancer just to get the dramatic feel going. And then one of my favorite songs so far, even though I have no idea what it is called.
Arabesques Festival: First and unique festival in Europe dedicated to the Arabic Arts & Culture.
Since 2006, the association UNI’SONS organizes every year in May during a week in Montpellier, the encounters of Arabic Arts & Culture, composed of an eclectique artistic programming.
Arabesques represents an opportunity to explore the arab culture through music, theatre, tails, projections, dance, calligraphy… from its traditional artistic heritage to its contemporary creations.
Arabesques aims to offer a better image and knowledge of the Arab World sharing its cultural richness.
The ambition of the festival is to create a friendly space favoring encounters and human exchanges
From all generations and for diverse social and ethnic backgrounds, the audience of Arabesques testifies of a mutual respect and shared pleasures.
Finally today a short set from the wonderful folks at NPR Music in another great Tiny Desk Concert. So perfect, so poignant and such beautiful sounds. I could listen to her all day.
“Ghir Enta” (No One but You)
“Amessa” (A Day Will Come)
“Le Bien et le mal” (The Good and the Evil)