Si Kamel (his true name.) is an absolute must of the world musical stage. His style of music is a mixture of raï, jazz, salsa, funk and varieties. In short, a pure World Music. He cumulates many years of tours throughout the world with his own group or while accompanying other artists. However, his dream is to make a tour in Algeria.
There are artists with a not very common destiny. Si Kamel is one of them. Met last week in Paris at the time of a conference France-Algeria, organized in the International City, the artist agreed to reveal himself. Route of a musician not like the others !
He discovered the music very early. His musical beginnings go up, indeed, at the beginning of the years 1980 with Messaoud Bellemou, celebrate raï trumpet. A beginning which has, as he tells it, changed his life: “Bellemou was and remains for me, the reference of the Algerian musicians in the Raï style. While playing with him on stage, I had decided to make a trade of it. The child of Oran, rocked by raï sonorities, will know, while crossing the other side of the Mediterranean, another musical universe.
Thus he decides to start studies academies in “Guitar International Jazz”. Consequently, he cumulates the professional experiences with “Jazz Trio”, Olivier Montreal (saxophonist), Dizzi Pat McKinney (keyboard), salsa, funk, but also “Gospel Jazz”, Gospel Mass Choir (Joel Pharaon), Oxygen (Willy Scova) and with Bovick Shamar (cameroonian music, album recorded with Studiomania). In 1993, he carries out and makes arrangements of the album “Denida” interpreted by the Kashmire singer.
One year later, he creates the group “Fighting”, with which he takes part, with various artists, with world tours (United States, Canada, ex-USSR, Holland, England, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Tunisia, Morocco, inter alia), but, curiously, not in… Algeria. However, he is known in the Algerian artistic circles, moreover, many national artists called upon his talents to compose and make arrangements on their albums such as the last opus of Cheb Akil at the label Desh Music. The artist has a name and a reputation of a very skilled musician with multiple talents.
“What’s important, it is to make dream people”
What interests him in the music, these are not the material gratifications that they bring to him, but rather its artistic side. “The most significant thing in the music is to be able to discover, each time, new sounds, new rhythms, in short, of new emotions”, explains Si Kamel. “What counts, it is to transport people through the music. Since a few years, every thing enchaines for him. The tour managers of shows want him in a lot of festivals !
And due: He puts an atmosphere of hell on stage. It should be said that he always liked to occupy space and communicate with his audience. He divided the stages with the great names of the raï, the jazz, the salsa and the variety, which did not prevent him from remaining modest. Si Kamel continues, thus, his irresistible opening of a musician multiform and carried by a remarkable musical intuition.
“I wait, impatiently, to be able to sing in Algeria”
Contented artist ? Not completely but his greater happiness is to go up on stage in his country, Algeria.
Thus, also paradoxically that can appear, Si Kamel always waits that one calls upon him, at his place, to sing for Algerian, “I have the flame in my heart, says he, I await that impatiently”. An occasion to make discover to Algerian his new album “Dessine-moi un autre Monde”.
An album which will not fail to surprise by its inventiveness and its diversity, as much as by a return at the origins of pure raï wahrani. If his first album “Solo” opened the field between raï and jazz with arrangements and a mixing with resolutely international sonorities, to say as much that second is, at the same time, a true prowess and a challenge compared to the modern music. At present, one understands why there is “Si” (*) in front of his name of artist ! Hats off !