Raï is a music genre fusing Arabic and Algerian folk elements with Western rock. Sofiane Saidi has been called the prince of raï 2.0. The update refers to the fact that the music had its heyday in the 80s.
But this Algerian crooner and inventor of oriental glam has a new electro-Maghreb vision, joining forces with synths, saz, horns and percussion together with the band Mazalda to create a fizzingly fresh take on classic the raï genre.
Born in the Algerian raï heartland of Sidi Bel Abbès, Saidi relocated to Paris in the 90s where he began moving through multiple musical worlds – from his 1996 debut with Senegalese hip-hoppers Tukuleur through collaborations with Acid Arab, Natacha Atlas and Smadj, Breton roots rockers Startijenn and raï pioneers Raïna Raï before releasing his own album, El Morjane, in 2015, a shiny electro raï concoction made together with Tim Whelan of Transglobal Underground.
Sofiane Saidi comes full circle with his expressions. Now teamed up with Mazalda, Saidi further updates the raï sound. Together, they have released the 2018 album El Djoum, and they bring the trippy grooves to the Algerian music.
Look forward to their visit at Roskilde Festival 2019.