Baaziz – A Powerful Voice
Since first attracting the attention of music-lovers in 1989 with his debut single “ya Hasrah kikount Esseghir”, Algerian singer, songwriter and musician, Baaziz, has come to be known as a controversial entertainer. Currently resident in France, Baaziz is considered to be Algeria’s most outspoken singer/songwriter, who does not hold back from addressing complex social, moral, religious and political issues with his unique brand of satire.
Born in 1963 in the Mediterranean seaside town of Cherchell, Algeria, Abdelazziz Bakhti later took on the stage name of Baaziz and began to develop his style of satirical music. Satire can be used as a humorous way to convey a serious message and at times this is what Baaziz has set out to accomplished, while he also offers deep insight into the struggle of day to day life that many people experience. Baaziz has been favorably compared with Bob Dylan, a musician who is well known for voicing his opinions on current political events and social issues. Baaziz acknowledges that Bob Dylan has been a source of inspiration to him, as has the music of Jacques Brel, a Belgian singer/songwriter highly regarded for his soul-searching lyrics that often encompassed themes relating to love, death and the struggles humans face in life.
Due to his outspokenness with regard to the Algerian authorities, Baaziz has been labeled as a rebel. Despite being warned not to do so, Baaziz went ahead with a live television broadcast where he performed a song criticizing Algeria’s generals, resulting in him being banned from Algerian radio and television. In 2004, Baaziz released an album by the name of “Café of Independence”. The album, which is sung in both French and Algerian Arabic, reached out into the international music scene, but was banned in Algeria upon release. Nonetheless, this talented musician has a loyal following of fans, both in Algeria and beyond its borders.
Although Baaziz has been critical of politics in Algeria his great love for the land of his birth is reflected in his song “Algeria My Love”. This song is considered to be one of his most successful, receiving special recognition from Algeria’s President Bouteflika, and being performed by many other musicians as a tribute to the uniqueness of this beautiful North African country.