The Unbelievably Talented Biyouna
Algerian singer, songwriter, dancer and actress, Biyouna, is not only popular in her home country of Algeria but has a loyal following of fans in the Algerian community in France. Born and raised in Belcourt, Algiers, in 1952 as a member of a family devoted to the arts, Biyouna took to the stage as a teenager and has been entertaining appreciative audiences ever since.
In a quest to fulfill her passion for singing, Biyouna started off as a member of Fadela Dziria’s musical company, where she played the tambourine and directed the chorus. She went on to perform in other companies before starting her own in which she featured as the main singer. When she was seventeen years old, Biyouna performed in some of the major cabarets in Algiers. It was at this time that she was discovered by Mustapha Badie, a successful film director. He cast her in her first film series, which was based on “El Hariq” (The Fire) by Mohamed Dib. Audiences loved her and she quickly became a star in the world of television and films. Her increasingly successful career saw her being featured in numerous TV films, as well as her own one-woman-shows based on sketches that she had written. Biyouna really became a household name when she starred on TV as Madame Biyouna in the first Algerian made sitcom. Her insight into Algerian life, humor and warmth made her very popular with her fellow Algerians.
Biyouna’s career took off in the international arena of film production when, in 1999, she went to Morocco to appear in the film “Le Harem de Madame Osmane” (Madam Osmane’s Harem), which was directed by Algerian Nadir Mokneche. They worked so well together that Mokneche cast her in the leading role in his 2004 film “Viva L’Aldjerie”. This was a huge boost to her career as a film actress and her talents became widely recognized in France.
In addition to her success as an actress, Biyouna is a talented singer-songwriter with a deep love for music. In 2001 she released an album called Raid Zone, which was well received by critics and fans alike, as was her follow up 2007 album Blonde Dans la Casbah (Blond in the Kasbah). Her lyrics explore themes of love and relationships, while denouncing intolerance and narrow-mindedness and making fun of those who meddle in other’s affairs. Her musical style is a fascinating and unique mix of kitsch rock, Arabic swing, baroque blues, funk and pop, and her electrifying stage performances leave her adoring fans calling for more. It is clear that Biyouna’s fans believe that she is one of a kind.