For the past ten years you’ve split your time between your native Algeria and France. How has that changed the way you approach or make music?
It’s changed a lot, of course. In Europe, I sing solo, and I sing my own songs. At home in Algeria, it was for friends at weddings. I only played guitar. Two women sang instead. I haven’t played at a wedding for ages, I miss it. It’s another style, but now I’m used to giving concerts and I like it a lot. Just like the studio. I was scared about doing the first album. But for the second, it was fine.
How did you approach the second album, Smaa Smaa ?
This is a very personal record, I got a lot of suffering and memories out of my system. I gave everything I had in me. At the same time, there is joy like on the track Sadrak, a love song that recounts the way a couple met. My deceased brother used to sing it and I wanted to do it in his memory. He was a great musician. I see his image when I sing on stage, and that’s why it’s on the album.
You performed at the second PanAfrican festical in Algiers in July 2009. Was this a particularly important occasion for you?
Yes. It means that I, an Algerian woman, sang at the PanAfrican, like Miriam Makeba. At the first festival I was young, I was 22 or 24 years old and I remember that Miriam Makeba was there. I saw it on TV. She had written a song which said she was free in Algeria. She was an African and Algeria was her country as well. For me, they were important words. I said it as well when I sang for my country the song Djazaïr johara.
Translation : Hugo Wilcken