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Cheb Mami

Cheb Mami


Cheb Mami
, (en arabe:شاب مامي), (né Mohamed Khelifati, le 11 juillet 1966 à Graba-el-Oued, un quartier populaire de la petite ville algérienne de Saïda) est un  compositeur et chanteur de raï.

Il est avec Khaled l'une des figures de proue du raï, chantant aussi bien en français qu'en darjia avec une excellente présence artistique. Surnommé Le roi du raï, il est le premier cheb à enregistrer à Paris et à être produit à l'Olympia et le premier à jouer à New York en 1989 et à y réaliser un album, l'année suivante. L'artiste est reconnu comme le plus innovateur en Algérie en s'ouvrant sur les sonorités occidentales. On se souvient de lui pour ses nombreuses ovations  pour sa voix de miel et d'or, une voix haut perchée qui escalade les gammes avec une grâce jouissive...qui semble promise à l'éternité et à l'universalité rapporte la critique musicale de RFI Musique[1].

Il a porté le Raï au niveau international. De nombreux artistes algériens lui doivent leur carrière musicale.


Cheb Mami - Haoulou

Biographie et évolution musicale

Il est né le 11 juillet 1966 à Graba-el-Oued, le quartier le plus pauvre de Saïda, ville des Hauts-Plateaux à 200 km au sud de la capitale de l'Ouest Algérien, et qui a tant donné au Raï traditionnel. Comme la plupart des chanteurs de rai, Mohamed Khelifati arrête l’école à l’adolescence, ce qui ne l’empêchera pas de devenir plus tard un artiste à la renommée mondiale. Des producteurs de Raï remarquent l'adolescent et le font venir à Oran pour enregistrer ses premières cassettes.

Mami passe une jeunesse sans problème, il acquiert une solide réputation d'animateur de noces et de banquets, avant de se produire dans les cabarets orientaux d'Oran et de rafler en 1982 le second prix d'un concours télévisé. Il se fait remarquer par sa voix souple et aiguë lors d'un concours en 1982, où il interprète un classique, El Marsam.

Ses manières adolescentes, ses chants moins crût que ceux de ses aînés feront de Mami le préféré du jeune public féminin.

  cheb-mami.jpg

Entre 1982 à 1985, Cheb Mami a enregistré environ 10 cassettes, produites entre 100.000 à 500.000 copies. Il s'installe à Paris en 1985 et participe en 1986 au festival de raï à Bobigny, aux côtés de Khaled ou Fadela et Sahraoui.

Il enregistre à Los Angeles son album de 1991, Let Me Raï, mais ce dernier souffre de la guerre du Golfe. Ce n'est qu'en 1994 qu'il atteint un large succès avec Saïda, dont le titre est un hommage à sa ville natale.

Cheb Mami a joué dans le film 100% Arabica de Mahmoud Zemmouri (1997). Il jouait le rôle de l'élève de Karim Bouderba. Il reçoit le Prix Miroir de l'espace francophone en 1997. Il participe en 2002 au concert de Solidays. Il est populaire dans le monde grâce à ses nombreux duos avec de grandes popstars dans son album Du Sud au Nord. On y trouve notamment des duos avec Sting pour "Desert Rose" (1999), Zucchero, Susheela Raman, Corneille et Diam's pour "Non ce sera non". Il participe aussi à un duo très symbolique avec le chanteur kabyle Idir dans Azwaw.

Cheb Mami s’engage aussi en faveur des droits de l’enfant à travers le monde et donne un titre - "Lazraq Saani" - à l’association humanitaire "Un regard, un enfant". Cheb Mami apparaît ainsi avec Saian Supa Crew, Sinsemilia et d’autres sur l’album "Opinion sur rue" qui est distribué depuis novembre 2003[2].

Dans Au pays des Merveilles, il allie mélodies celtiques et musique orientale.

Cheb Mami et le rappeur K-mel du groupe Alliance Ethnik font un duo dans Parisien Du Nord.

 Cheb Mami et Cheb Fouzi



  • Douni El Bladi, 1986
  • Let me Rai, 1990
  • Saïda, 1994
  • Meli Meli, 1998
  • Dellali, 2001
  • Lazrag Saani, 2001
  • The prince of the Raï, 2002
  • Du Sud au Nord, 2004
  • Best of, 2004
  • Zucchero Zu&Co Live at the Royal Albert Hall London, 6th May 2004
  • Layali, 2006


Liens internet


Vidéos

 

Voir aussi

Biography

Cheb Mami (Arabic: شاب مامي‎, Ahmed Khelifati Mohamed, born July 11, 1966) is an Algerian-born raï singer. His birth was in Graba-el-wed, a populous quarter of Saida. Located 170 kilometres south of Oran, the city of Saida is on the high mesas of southwestern Algeria. 

He sings in Algerian Arabic, French and sometimes, as on Layali, in Egyptian Arabic.

Cheb Mami grew up in the city of Saida to a family of factory workers. He began singing and playing the accordion on Saida streets and by 1980 began performing at local weddings and ceremonies.

In 1982, the 16-year-old adolescent sang on the Alhan wa Chabab radio show, a singing competition organised by Radio Télevision Algérienne. He sang "El Marsam" (The Sanctuary) a classic of Oranese music from the 1920s. The audience was transfixed by the sheer emotion of his performance and by his concordant vocal intonations which captured perfectly the flavour of the song's title. The judges, who represented the government which refused to admit even the existence of raï, gave the first prize to the contestant that sang a cover version of a hit by the famous Egyptian diva, Umm Kulthum, but were forced to acknowledge the standing ovation Mami received by awarding him second prize.

Cheb Mami was spotted by Boualem, the producer of the Oran label, Disco Maghreb, and the cassette waltz began. From 1982 to 1985, Cheb Mami recorded about ten cassettes, whose production varied from 100,000 to 500,000 copies.

It was in 1985 that Mami came to Paris and found his musical niche. Raï fused blues, funk, salsa, reggae, hip hop and Algerian rhythms, while integrating touches of his idols Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding and French rapper MC Solaar.

Cheb Mami made his first official public appearance at the First Oran Raï Festival in 1985, which marked the official recognition of the genre by the Algerian authorities.

He was in military service for two years in Algeria but was an entertainer on army bases. After that, in May 1989, Mami returned to the Paris at the Olympia, rejuvenating Rai music. He began making recordings and performing in cabarets in the Paris suburb of Barbès. He also toured the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Scandinavia and England.

Mami's music is a blend of Mediterranean and Western influences including Turkish, Flamenco and Greek music as well as Latin music. His voice is tinged with Andalusian accents, and his music is an amalgamation of the traditional and the modern styles of singing and creation of music.

In 1999, Mami topped the French pop charts with a groundbreaking duet with French rapper K-Mel, "Parisien du Nord". The song was an anthem against racism that seamlessly made the transition between hip hop and raï, and introduced throngs of young new audiences to raï. This song explores the racist issues between Arabs and French and the challenges of identity.

As well as recording many straight raï songs, Cheb Mami has achieved crossover success with the hip-hop remix of his track "Parisien du Nord" on his album Meli Meli and also with the backing vocals on Sting's hit "Desert Rose" and Youm Wara Youm the title track of which is a duet with Samira Said.

When Sting's album was released in 2000, the pair's duet, "Desert Rose", went rocketing to the top of singles charts around the world, fulfilling Mami's long-held dream of internationalising Raï sounds.

Perhaps Mami's most successful recording is the album Dellali, produced by former Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers, which was released soon after his collaboration with Sting. The album's lead single was "Le Raï C'est Chic". This track, which opens the album, "is an energetic dance track featuring Mami's biggest fan, Sting, on backing vocals and is destined to get most of the mainstream media attention (and radio airplay)".[Mami's first collaboration with Sting in 2001 on, "Desert Rose", "topped the charts around the globe, and led to television appearances on Saturday Night Live, the Today Show, Jay Leno, David Letterman, the Grammy Awards telecast and even a live performance at the Super Bowl". His international success, and namely his recognition in mainstream American popular culture, has led him to be called the "Prince of Raï".  Although Mami has been able to be recognized by mainstream media in the United States, Americans often equate his raï music genre with rock in the US during the 1950s and 1960s. Americans believe raï to be "North African punk," a genre of music for the purpose of rebelling against the government and resembling the music of ‘young rockers' in the US, when in reality this music plays a very different role in the life of the North African diasporic community in France.Although raï does include narratives of the various struggles of this community against "the Algerian state or against the forces of ‘tradition'",it is also the "music of the racialized Other" which chronicles struggles with racism and identity of North African people in France. Mami's international success is commendable and an indication of the power of his music; however, the misunderstanding of the roots of the raï music genre may allow the music to seem more relatable to international, especially American audiences.