Sunday, June 04, 2006  

Obituary: Cheikha Rimitti

Cheika Rimitti- the incredible female Rai singer from Algeria died in Paris in mid-May. Here is her obit from the Los Angeles Times which says:
In the 1930s no respectable Algerian woman dared to make music about sexual pleasure, alcohol consumption, poverty, oppression.

Cheikha Rimitti sang anyway.

The artist, whose pioneering recordings inspired younger generations in her homeland and around the world and earned her the title of "mother of rai," the Algerian music of dissent, died of a heart attack May 15 in Paris. She was 83.

Here is an interview with the Queen of Rai on Afropop.

You can find out more about her on and listen to great cuts such as Nouar where you can definitely hear the influence of andalousi rythms.

This site has a great definition of rai (pronounced "rye", btw- drives me nuts to hear people, especially non-Maghrebin dj's call it "ray").

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