Samira Brahmi: “Honoring African Women and Women”

sA symbol of diversity, Samira Brahmi creates hymns for all the good causes that are less and less adhered to in today’s world. Franco is Algerian, singing to bring cultures together. Her latest album “Mama” is a tribute to African women, whose rights are not always respected in a number of African countries. captured in Africa Point.

Africa Point: Your new album is called “Awa”, the translation of the first name Hawa in Arabic, we are safe for all. In what state of mind did you set it up?

Samira Brahmi: It took me several months and even several years to think about what I really want as a woman, as an artist and as a citizen of the world. I realized that this desire on the album was above all a need for expression: the desire to be happy and to share the things that affect me personally. This album is a musical expression for me of all my influences and all my animosities that range from African sounds through jazz, pop or folklore, and in terms of content, I absolutely wanted to say what I have to say, to honor women and, more accurately, African women. It was clear to me. In fact, I let my instinct speak, and above all, I asked the people I love to surround me and put the finishing touches on this album.

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From now on, you are the face and voice of this mixed music where pop rock influences, African melodies and desert sounds mingle. What do you want to express through this mix and this musical genre?

This album is a mixture of genres, because I am from a country located at the crossroads of North and South Africa, between East in the East and West in the North. I grew up in this mixed culture and am very proud of it, and I definitely want to send a message to young designers: You don’t have to lock yourself in one style or one fashion. I sincerely believe that an artist should create freely without regard…

In this album there is the song “Mama” in which she pays tribute to the African woman. Even if his situation is different from one country to another, his situation remains generally difficult in terms of fundamental freedoms and rights. How do you view African women and how can music help raise awareness for their condition?

“Mama” is a very cherished title, I was offered the words of Majid Sherfi and I also had the opportunity to get a quote in Fulani by my Senegalese friend Binda Niang. This honor was important to me, because behind the word “mama” there are many cliches. Rarely do we highlight the work, perseverance and courage of Mama! When I sing “Mama”, I sing to all women, whether they are mothers or not, and even this dimension can reach beyond universality. Mama protect. Mama Mama Africa; Mom, it’s dignity. We know that at different times and in different places, the fundamental rights of women are violated; With this title, I want people to know that a mother can take shelter, but never lose sight of her purpose. So yes, there is work in relation to women’s rights, in terms of highlighting the contribution of women on the African continent, but I am convinced that if we all work together to shine a light on these ubiquitous women on the continent. And those who fight ferociously for the betterment of society, our girls will be able to build themselves, because they need role models like themselves.

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You are a fan of Myriam Makeba and Sheikha Rmeiti, two great women who, each in their own way, fought for women’s rights in Africa. Tell us about these two women and why do they impress you?

I am very impressed with these two women, because they both had similar and different paths at the same time.

I admire Miriam Makeba for her African vision, and I have a lot of sympathy for her, because I know that leaving her country and not knowing if we will ever be able to see her again before death is heartbreaking. I like her too, because she made us dream when she came to Algiers for the Pan-African Festival and sang “I am free in Algeria”. She built the beginnings of a vision that I still envision and that I will always fight for. Being there for the other is an African value and that’s what she conveyed to me, because, through her commitments, she has traveled to many African countries to say that culture was important in the post-colonial construction of our countries.

Sheikha Rmeiti is an icon to me, she broke, through her singing and stage presence, all the taboos of our Algerian society, she sang with love, human nature, a deep Algeria, this Algeria I love that is real without trick and more African than ever. We would like to tell about our land, our crops, how many heads of cattle we sold, which will allow us to celebrate or not.

This great lady is the witness in my eyes to an Algeria that exists and will continue to exist, the Algeria of love, the Algeria where one speaks of desire, the Algeria where the given word is worthy of life, the power of word and deed.

This lady represents to me the battle of a lifetime, she faced society and lived her life as she wanted.

What I regret, unlike Miriam Makeba, is that she died in complete indifference. Both remain a great inspiration to me.

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During your visit to the hook group the sound, in 2015, made the entire jury tremble with a love song from the multicultural melting pot of medieval Andalusia, “Haramtou Bik Nouassi”. You master all the musical effects, so why this choice?

I chose to defend this song, because I decided to listen to my instinct, and admit that I listen to it more and more. I would like to thank the team the sound Who supported my choice, I admit that I did not expect it.

Amazing how people reacted afterwards, I realized that singing a song in Arabic in prime time on one of the most watched TV in France was exceptional. People got to know each other on screens in a language they understand.

That is why I will continue to sing in all the languages ​​that make me who I am. In the languages ​​I sing, I tell the stories and memories that are essential to the evolution of our society.

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In your opinion, how can diversity help a society live in harmony with all its cultural riches?

The wealth of a society passes through its culture if it is pluralistic and diverse and this means that this society is tolerant and respectful of differences. Culture is essential because it bears witness to our common history and our hopes.

If the child recognizes himself in the cultural landscape that surrounds him, this means that he is recognized by his society, and if we want to build a better future for our children, we must tell them their story and the story of others in order to open minds and establish certain values, such as tolerance and participation.

Your acoustic guitar accompanies you everywhere, it has a symbolic and sentimental value to you, because it is a gift from your father. Is this guitar, in a way, your pilgrim’s wand to defend your values ​​on your journey as an artist, championing love and claiming your plural identity?

My guitar has more than sentimental value.

My dear father gave it to me at my wedding. What I want to say today is that my parents preferred to focus on culture and knowledge so that I and my siblings could carry the baggage of life.

The amazing thing is that this same guitar allowed me to travel the world and meet so many people from different cultures.

This guitar allowed me to tell my origins, my story, my battles, my madness, and especially my love for life and others.

I know my father is watching me from his place. For him and for his memory, I will continue to work on my tool and tell our shared story, which highlights our weaknesses that make us human.

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You are the Copyright Ambassador in Africa to the International Federation of Authors and Composers Societies (Cisac) and in Algeria with the National Office of Copyright and Related Rights (Onda). What remark would you make on this question at a time of tremendous development for African art and immaterial music?

Above all, I am very proud of this appointment and it is a position close to my heart!

I honestly believe that the issue of copyright in Africa still needs to be built together, it is clear that African creativity is everywhere in the world today and the fact that international laws regarding the copyright author are applied is an objective issue, because it allows African creators to live with it. Dignity thanks to their creativity. On the African continent, we have not yet realized that the culture sector creates wealth and jobs, we must educate future generations in this sense.

Finally, I sincerely believe that the copyright issue in Africa must pass through solidarity and participation, because we must succeed together. We must help countries that do not have the means to enforce laws due to lack of money and also think about the creation of caravans for the identification and digitization of African works, because it is often very difficult for an African author to go to the capital to have his works deposited to think together so as to leave no one behind side of the road.

Finally, know that I am ready and will be happy to come to the African continent to exchange with all cultural actors accompanied by Sisak and Onda.

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You were born in France and lived a large part of your life in Algeria. For more than ten years, I have excelled in the world of “global” music. Looking at your career, what is your assessment?

First of all, I have absolutely no regrets.

I would like to thank my musicians and friends, such as Karim Ziad, Youssef Boukila, Khalif Mzialwa, Mudhahi Ziyush, Hisham Takaout, Fred Sol, my artistic director Salam Gerbi, my partners at TV5 Monde, the Arab World Institute and all the people who have supported.

Ten years later, and more, I can tell you that evolution is the only answer, that making mistakes is part of life, that music is a profession, and we can only succeed if we are associated with people who respect who we are and where we want to go.

As a woman, artist and mother, I just want us to share moments of happiness together.

I would add that this universal music is, after all, the patron of all emerging music. I would like it to be more present in the public scene, because it belongs to all of us.

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