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Khaled

Khaled is the poster boy for the modern form of Algerian desert blues known as Raï. Certainly he's been its most successful modern exponent, the first to find success on the international stage. Born Khalidu Hajji Brahim in Oran, the traditional center of Raï, he was attracted to music from an early age, especially to Raï, which was seen at the time of the music of outcasts, drunks, and prostitutes, although he also loved James Brown and the Beatles. He taught himself to play guitar, bass, harmonica, and accordion, releasing his debut disc, "Trigh Lycee," when he was just 14. Leaving home, he began on the peripatetic life of the musician, performing frequently at clubs, parties, and weddings (the only places where Raï was seen as an "acceptable" form of entertainment). It was in the early '80s that Cheb (meaning "young") Khaled's fortunes changed, when he met up with producer Rachid Baba Ahmed, who was revolutionizing the Raï form by introducing Western electric instruments and studio techniques. Together, they changed the face of the music. Khaled was the right voice at the right time and the addition of drum machines, synthesizers, and guitars took the music to a new generation, even though much of it continued to be censored by the Algerian government, which considered the style subversive. A number of those early tracks can be found on Le Meilleur de Cheb Khaled on Blue Silver.

By 1986, Khaled (who'd now dropped the Cheb) had been forced to move to Paris, as violence in Algeria claimed lives and he'd been threatened several times (producer Ahmed would, in fact, be murdered, as would several Raï performers). Arriving with a reputation, he attempted to take his music to a global level, although his real debut, Kutche, did him no favors with its jazz-rock arrangements. He fared much better with 1992's Khaled, with some tracks produced by Michael Brook and others by Don Was. It yielded his first big hit, "Didi," and helped consolidate his reputation as Raï's first superstar. That was firmly cemented the following year with the Was-produced N'ssi N'ssi, which mixed funk, rock, and an Egyptian orchestra behind Khaled's persuasive voice and winning smile for a major commercial breakthrough in France, winning a European, as well as North African, audience. In 1996, he hit again with Sahra, whose first single, "Aïcha," written for his daughter, gave Khaled a French number one hit. A mix of producers gave varying sounds, with French hip-hoppers Akhenton & Imhotep proving the hardest on the track "Oran Marseille" with its rapid-fire rap. There was even some reggae on "Mektoubi," which merged relatively seamlessly with the North African sound. While well-received critically, it sold little in the U.S. however, unlike France, where the album became Khaled's biggest success. Perhaps the moment that justified his title of King of Raï, however, came in 1999, when he headlined the 1-2-3 Soleils concert in Paris (which led to the album of the same name), over Rachid Taha and Faudel. It was the biggest Algerian show ever staged in France and left no doubt that Khaled remained Raï's hottest attraction. 2000 brought Kenza and a change of producer, as former prog rocker Steve Hillage helped bring a more organic feel to the proceedings. A smash in Europe, once again it did little business in the U.S. ~ Chris Nickson, Rovi
full bio

Comments

rachelll-23
I love all of your songs..
God bless you.
RAI~AY~AY~AY ~ A A A A A I ! ! ! ! ! I LUV KHALED`S MUSIC!!!!! :-) :-) :-D :-) :-)
Da King of Modern Raï !
HIP HIP HOO RAI. !!! ( I exclaimed "Rai" ly....... ) Khaled sure does make some HAPPY MUSIC!!! I LOVE IT!!! :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D!!!!!!!!! !
Al jazeera
My favorite rai singer of em all!!!!!
Why can't i find c'est la vie in here D:!?
robschneidb2
I also love Amina Aloui (SP)
debdej
Absolutely love Khaled's music. We've been listening to him for about 10 years now. First time we heard him was on 1-2-3 Soleils and I had to go out right away and buy more of his CDs. His voice goes right to your soul. Beautiful!
ang_lady7
Love this singer, esp his song: Ayisha and Ya Aachkou....w o n d e r f u l voice, pleasant and natural as he sings from the heart!
Now here is a guy who we in America would do well to give an ear to. This music rocks in a way that is influencing so many of our own musicians. It is simple to understand. He sings from his heart. That crosses the language barrier and expands us to accept so much that is different in the world.
h_ouis
I love this artist. He is one of my favorite for sure.
MZ: I was there. I don't know what you mean. I like toast.
NYC many memories with Khaled's Music if you were there you know what I mean
rimi1
his the best ,he has a unique voice,has a big impact on me whenever i listen to it. his the king and he still the king forever.
I am loving the groove and the fusion! I will come back and get to know his music better
I use to listen to his jam back in Murphy.
I love Khaled's music!!
Best! No more to qualify him!!!!
eatl02
He is one of a kind. Very moving and spiritual at the same time up-beat that it makes one dance. Not only his voice and style but his music is so rich. Love him!!!!
Lo mejor y punto.
he is number one sure Thanks Khaled hadj ibrahim
Like this kind of music.
he's the best.
haloway
I did not know about this performer until I saw the Fifth Element. I loved the music from the scene of the taxi cab chase and went as far as buying the soundtrack (which I don't regret doing it so) looking for that specific song, unfortunatel y , is not there. I did a bit more research until I found him and his music. I do hope he continues doing music and brings Algerian music to the rest of the World
nice voice
#1
I love Khaled! I'm from bahrain and love their music!
Behibek Khaled!
erin5905
Knockout performer.
we like

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