I was thinking about styles to feature and I suddenly realised that I hadn't featured any raï music. I discovered the world of raï a few months after being introduced to klezmer music, when my sister and I were exploring the music department in Borders. I liked and indeed still like the way in which it modernises Arabic music by giving it a more electric feel. I'm pretty sure that this introduction to raï and klezmer music helped to expand my love of world music because prior to these discoveries my interest in world music only extended to other western European music.
I decided that this adventure into raï music should begin with Khaled (who was formerly known as Cheb Khaled, when he lived in Algeria), since he is a very prominent raï musician. He has been a musician for quite some time and so he has released many songs, so I don't necessarily like all of his songs but there are still many of his songs that I do like.
As you probably gathered Khaled began his musical career in Algeria but he decided to move to France because he wanted to try new styles of music without simultaneously having to fear that he would anger the Islamic fundamentalists, who did not favour his Western styled music and lyrical messages. He is particularly popular in France, Algeria and the Arab world to such an extent that he is called the "King of raï". He is particularly well known for his songs, "Aïcha" and "Didi".
Aïcha (This song is about the oppression of women in Islamic countries/Algeria):
Darou Shour Darou: