Souad Massi

Genres: Pop / Rock
Decades Active: 2000s

Biography

23 August 1972, Bab El Oued, Algers, Algeria. In the early 90s, singer-songwriter Massi was based in the civil war-torn Algerian capital, Algers. Problematically, however, a curfew was imposed in the evenings and large sections of the Algerian society considered it indecent for a young woman to even be taking guitar lessons. Although her mother was reportedly a fan of James Brown and Aretha Franklin and approved of Massi’s music making, her father did not. He disliked music even being played in the house and practice had to be taken during office hours or in secret. Massi has said that her love for the guitar was triggered by an uncle who played jazz and flamenco. A tomboyish penchant for westerns, in particular The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, prompted a specific interest in country music and folk. Intrigued by the intoxicating Andalucian flamenco music that she was sometimes able to tape from long-distance Spanish radio broadcasts, Massi briefly (and...

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