Souad Massi’s nostalgic and joyful journey to the shores of childhood

With Sequana, her tenth album in twenty years of career, the former hard rocker returns to her first love: folk, rock and commitment. It also finds its Mediterranean and African origins. For this album, Souad Massi has surrounded himself with Justin Adams (Rachid Taha, Tinariwen, Robert Plant…) on production, the artist Piers Faccini and the essential Rabah Khalfa on percussion.

A bright album, full of hope, invigorating and combative, an album that reconnects with the old Souad Massi, that of Raoui (2001) and Deb (2003). In twenty years of career, the former architect from Algiers has been able to get rid of labels. She is no longer the “Arab Joan Baez”, nor the “Tracy Chapman of Africa”, she is Souad Massi. A recognizable voice and music from the first notes.

It is perhaps his most personal, most intimate and also most universal album. He speaks of his sorrows, his joys and his hopes. Very committed during the Hirak (or the Revolution of the smile), popular pro-democracy movement at the origin of the fall of the former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Souad continues to dream of a country “where justice is not an empty word”. She sings about mourning, overcoming, inspired by Johnny Cash, and the fight for justice, quoting the Chilean singer Victor Jara.

Sequana comes after El Mutakallimun (The Orators), in which the artist has set the great classical Arab poets to music. Objective: to deconstruct stigmatizing discourses. “I am annoyed by clichés and stereotypes. The Arab world is very vast and I am sad that it is often associated with terrorism. I lived the civil war in Algeria in my flesh, I suffered from terrorism as many fellow citizens. It’s unfair to associate us with this image, unfair to all journalists who are behind bars. I wanted to talk about the hidden side of the Arab world.”she explained to Franceinfo.

Souad Massi, throughout the eleven tracks of his new album (in Arabic and French), takes us on a nostalgic and joyful journey to his childhood, his youth. With its joys and its wounds. With for company Sequanagoddess of the Seine, venerated by the Gauls for her gifts of healing.

Sequana, Backingtrack label, released October 14, 2022

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