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Souad Massi (Kabyle: Suɛad Masi, Arabic: سعاد ماسي) (born 23rd August 1972), is an Algerian of Kabyle descent, singer, songwriter and guitarist. She began her career performing in the Algerian political rock band Atakor, before leaving the country following a series of death threats. In 1999, Massi performed at the Femmes d'Algerie concert in Paris, which led to a recording contract with Island Records.

Massi's music, which prominently features the acoustic guitar, displays Western musical style influences such as rock, country or the Portuguese fado, rather than traditional Algerian or Raï musical styles performed by most Algerian musicians. Massi sings in Algerian Arabic, French, and occasionally English and Kabyle (Berber language), often employing multiple languages in the same song.

Massi was born in Algiers, Algeria to a poor Muslim family of seven children. Encouraged by her older brother, she began studying music at a young age, singing and playing guitar. Growing up Massi immersed herself in American country and roots music, musical styles that would later heavily influence her songwriting. At the age of seventeen she joined a flamenco band, but quickly grew bored with the group and left.

In the early 1990s, Massi joined the Algerian political rock band Atakor, who were influenced by Western rock bands such as Led Zeppelin and U2. She recorded and performed with the group for seven years, releasing a successful album and two popular music videos. The band, however, with its political lyrics and growing popularity, became a target. Massi disguised herself by cutting her hair and dressing in male clothing, but she nevertheless became the target of a series of death threats. In 1999, she left the band and moved to Paris, France.

In 1999, Massi was invited to perform at the Femmes d'Algerie ("Women from Algeria") festival in Paris, which led to a recording contract with Island Records. In June of 2001, she released her solo debut album Raoui ("Storyteller"), which All Music Guide compared to 1960s American folk music. Sung mostly in French and Arabic, the album became a critical and commercial success in France. The following year she was nominated for "Best Newcomer" at the Radio 3 World Music Awards.

In 2003, she released her second album Deb ("Heart-broken"). The album's lyrics were more personal rather than political and it became one of the most successful North African albums worldwide. Three years later, Massi released her third album Mesk Elil ("Honeysuckle"). The album expanded on the themes of love and loss that had been explored on Deb and featured duets with Daby Toure and Rabah Khalfa.

Studio albums

* 2001: Raoui
* 2003: Deb
* 2006: Mesk Elil

www.souadmassi.com.fr
Ghir Enta
by Souad Massi

Dirni fi balek, yalli nehwak
Ana qelbi khtarek, qelbi khtarek
W ma sebt dwak
L'youm rak m3aya w ghoudwa yadra
Hadi hwal el denia, hwal el denia
Helwa w mourra

Ghir enta, ghir enta, ghir enta
Elli dkhalte qelbi
Ghir enta, ghir enta, ghir enta
Elli saken qelbi

Fe hali mhayarni, fe lili msaharni
W 3aleich ya 3omri, hram ya 3omri
T3adeb fia
Li rbi3 ma ydoum, wel ward yedbal
Wana hali ma3dour, hali ma3dour
Dirni fel bal

Ghir enta, ghir enta, ghir enta
Elli dkhalte qelbi
Ghir enta, ghir enta, ghir enta
Elli saken qelbi

Fe hali mhayarni, fe lili msaharni
W 3aleich ya 3omri, hram ya 3omri
T3adeb fiA
Li rbi3 ma ydoum, wel ward yedbal
Wana hali ma3dour, hali ma3dour
Dirni fel bal

Ghir enta, ghir enta, ghir enta
Elli dkhalte qelbi
Ghir enta, ghir enta, ghir enta
Elli dkhalte qelbi

Ghir enta elli saken qalbi

Contributed by Connor V. Suggest a correction in the comments box.
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