Rachid Taha

Decades: 1990s 2000s
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18 September 1958, Oran, Algeria. When he was aged 10, Taha’s family moved to France, settling in Alsace and then Vosges. As a child, he encountered many difficulties, not least racism directed specifically against French Algerians. As a teenager, he studied in Catholic schools and at the end of his teenage years became a book salesman, then a factory hand. It was while at this latter job in 1981 that he met two musicians, Mohammed and Mokhtar Amini, guitarist and bass player respectively, and teamed up with them as a singer. They named the group Carte De Séjour, which is the residence permit required to be carried by certain people including those of French Algerian origin. Later adding percussionist Djamel Dif and guitarist Eric Vaquer, the band recorded Rhoromanie in 1984 and Deux Et Demi (Two And Half) in 1986. Although Carte De Séjour usually played original music, most often written by Taha, it attracted much positive attention through the...

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