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Restless - and uncategorisable - globetrotter
When most Algerian singers go into exile (often because of pressure from the authorities back home), they tend to pitch up in either Marseille or, more likely, Paris. Very few - in fact, we can't think of another - opt for a life in Germany. Hamid Baroudi did, settling in the historic city of Kassel after some time spent on the French side of the border. He came to prominence in the late '80s as the lead singer of Dissidenten, the politically motivated world beat band. Hamid's subsequent solo career has seen him flit nomadically between styles and genres with reckless abandon. Indeed, if you like music that's utterly mongrel, that picks and mixes from across the board, then Hamid's your man. Algerian rai, rock, Brazilian coolness and rap are but four identifiable elements in his music. "I make it difficult for people to pigeonhole me," he declares, barely concealing his glee. "That gives me a kick. People ask 'What kind of music do you play? Is it ethno, pop, rai, techno, folklore or modern?' Sorry, but that's not my problem. It was my problem before I composed it. Now the ball's in your court..."
Biog by Nige Tassell