Artist Profiles: Faudel

Faudel

Faudel’s has one of the most attractive voices to come out of the vibrant Algerian-diaspora Rai tradition. He is the rising star of Rai music and his style is an incredible homage to the great masters of North African music.

Faudel Belloua was born June 6, 1978 in Paris, France. The son of Algerian immigrants living in France, Faudel Bellula was brought up in a working class suburb in Paris. His mother listened to traditional rai cassettes at home all the time so it became something natural for Faudel. During a visit to his family’s village in Oran (Algeria) he was asked to sing at a wedding. That was his first experience singing in public.

Faudel began at the age of 12 by forming a group, the Rai Stars (Les Étoiles du Raï), livening up neighborhood parties and weddings by singing his favorite songs by Cheb Khaled and Cheb Mami over pre-recorded music. This led to meeting other artists and developing his repertoire, and within three years he was opening for MC Solaar and even Cheb Khaled himself.

In 1995 Faudel was featured in two television shows on channel France3: “Saga Cities” and “Les Enfants du Raï”. The following year he was selected to participate in the Festival du Printemps de Bourges. As his popularity increased the record labels came calling. Eventually it was Mercury who signed the 18 year-old to a five-record deal.

Baïda, Faudel’s debut album was an eclectic recording, mixing traditional Rai with rock, hip hop and flamenco.

Discography:

1, 2, 3 Soleils – 1, 2, 3 Suns, with Rachid Taha and Khaled (Barclay, 1999)
Baïda (1998)
Samra (2001)
Another Sun – Un Autre Soleil (2003)
Mundial Corrida (2006)
Bled Memory (Universal France, 2010)
I Love You More (2011)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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