Features August 8, 2005
The Story of Rai

Afropop Worldwide listeners have heard the brilliant singer Khaled often on our program. Our Hip Deep portrait, "The Story of Räi" musically unfolds through our räi ambassador and "Berber King" Khaled as he shares stories and insights from his remarkable career—from his early days growing up in cosmopolitan Oran on the Mediterranean coast, to his ground-breaking creation of modern pop räi music.

View all the Khaled interviews with Banning Eyre:

Khaled, King of Räi, part 1
Khaled, King of Räi, part 2: Khaled discusses his early career and the roots of räi
Khaled, King of Räi, part 3: Khaled talks about his album, "Ya Rayi"


is best described as “the voice of the voiceless,” or "opinion" for the peoples of Algeria. Our guideMarc Schade-Poulsen, author of “Men and Popular Music in Algeria-The Social Significance of Raï" (University of Texas Press, 1999), provided the background to fully tell the story of this fiercely honest music movement.

Here are more paths to your own Räi journey:

AUDIO: "Khaled Widens the Sounds of Algeria", Banning Eyre on NPR

ARTICLE: "An introduction to the music and history of the North African Berbers" (Sing Out! The Folk Magazine) By Banning Eyre

AUDIO: Rai music samples, provided by Marc Shade-Poulsen

View a sampling discography

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