The 6th International Clarinet Festival is set to take place in Istanbul, featuring Turkish and international musicians. Algerian artist Souad Massi will be one of the festival performers in a concert at Zorlu PSM on Sept. 14.
Dubbed as the best North African musician in the world, Massi will be presenting her latest album “El-Mutakallimûn,” released in 2015, influenced by Arabic poetry, and her peaceful songs that extend beyond borders. Serkan Çağrı, the festival’s art director, will also attend the concert. In an interview, Massi speaks about her music.
You are giving concerts in many parts of the world. How is your audience’s reaction to your music?
I am mostly very well received everywhere I go, and that makes me happy. Of course, reactions vary from Maghreb, to the Middle-East and Europe. It can be extremely different. But for me, what matters is seeing people’s happiness while I am on stage, giving the public a nice time, uniting people regardless of culture, country, and nationality. Your music style is far more than oriental music. What is the effect on your music being that multicultural?
The fact of having Arab, African and Mediterranean roots, it’s very enriching, and it, of course, influenced my musical work as an artist.
You have been away from your country for many years. What do you remember from your childhood? When you look from outside what are the changes in your country?
I never broke my ties with my country Algeria. First of all, because I love my country but also my whole family lives there, my friends. And I still remember the smell of jasmine flowers, the smell of some traditional cakes, and dishes…You used Arabic poems as lyrics in your latest album “El-Mutakallimûn” (Masters of the Word). Are there any other poems that you follow in world literature other than Arabic poetry?
I love literature in general, French
literature and above all poetry from writers such as [Charles] Baudelaire and Victor Hugo. Yes, I write poems still from time to time.How do you feel on the stage?
I am at peace on stage. People need to forget about their problems, at least for a while, it’s a moment of relaxation, an enjoyable time.
You will be on stage at the International Clarinet Festival on Sept. 14 in Turkey. How did this project come to you?
I heard of Serkan Çağrı, and had discussed with my agent the possibility of sharing the stage with him. I am looking forward to finally being on stage with this wonderful artist.When will we hear your next album?
I am working on a new album. The songs are ready and I am recording it. I hope people will enjoy it.
What kind of repertoire should we expect in Turkey concerts? What would you like to say to your Turkish audience?
What to say about the Turkish audience? First, I want to thank them for adopting me! I have a few fans here and it makes me very proud, especially since there is such a rich musical culture here, and the audience has therefore high expectations. I respect this and appreciate it.