Now you will think only Chaabi singers are worth noting in Algeria. I cannot promise El Badji will be the last Chaabi singer I post about but, you have my word, the next noteworthy Algerian won’t be into music.
If you are a little into Chaabi music then you probably know some of his poetry, at least the three famous songs which he wrote for different interprets and which became great successes: تحدثت معك يا قلبي , المقنين الزين and بحر الطوفان.Mohamed El Badji, aka Khouya El Baz, was born in Algiers in 1933 and he died in 2003. His story with music started in 1947 while he was a scout in the same group as Didouche Mourad.
In 1957 he got arrested by the French after the 8 days strike. He was sentenced to death but Algeria became independent before the coloniser killed him. He composed Elmeqnine ezzine (you can listen to it here performed by Boudjemaa El Ankis while enjoying some of Mohamed Racim‘s paintings) during this jail period. I prefer the version performed by Amar Ezzahi.
After the independence he worked in the ministry of justice until his retirement.
Below you can listen to Bahr ettoufane by the great Boudjemaa El Ankis (I prefer this version to Amar Ezzahi’s).