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May 2024 #24 - Top 40 for North African Influence Viraj (radio Edit) (track)
May 2024 #25 - Top 40 for North African Influence Jnuni (radio Edit) (track)
April 2024 #27 - Top 40 for North African Influence Jnuni (radio Edit) (track)
1 time in the Global Top 40
Surprising in the richness of his music, Sidi Bemol (Hocine Boukella, Cheikh to those in the know) is the composer of the in-between: a fusion between modernity and tradition, between chaabi, gnawi, blues, and rock, Berber and Celtic. Changing languages with each track (Arabic, Kabyle, French, and English), Sidi Bémol's lyrics are not insignificant: by turns poetic, nostalgic, critical, and humorous, he depicts society with great tenderness and lucidity.

Hocine Boukella, the future Sidi Bemol, was born in Algiers in 1957. He grew up in the Belcourt district.
In the 80s, he studied biology at the University of Bab Ezzouar, while playing guitar and pen. He evolved in underground circles where innovative Maghrebian music was in the making; he produced his first comic strips, but his drawings were pilloried by a cautious censor.
In 1985, he moved to Paris to study for a doctorate in population genetics, but in 1988, after the October demonstrations in Algiers, he decided to leave the world of science to devote himself to art.
He published press cartoons in various magazines in France and Algeria, designed posters and album covers, took part in exhibitions, and worked at a number of odd jobs.
With a group of fellow artists, he formed a rock band "that did more building sites than concerts". His residence permit was not renewed, and he went through a trying period of hiding.
In 1997, he set up and ran the Association L'Usine in Arcueil, with a group of artist friends, most of them newly arrived from Algeria. The collective occupies and manages a building that has been converted into rehearsal and recording spaces, as well as graphic design studios. The space quickly became an essential meeting point for the Algerian scene in Paris, and a laboratory for artistic creation where many of the musical experiments of the 2000s matured: Orchestre National de Barbès, Gaâda Diwane de Bechar, Mad in Paris, Raï kum, Thalweg...
In 1998, he finally released his first album: "Cheikh Sidi Bemol", an inimitable blend of traditional music and electric guitars. This was followed by "Live à Alger", recorded at the Bledstock festival, and the albums "El Bandi" and "Gourbi Rock", both of which met with great success in Algeria. These first albums were marked by the originality of a new style, blending blues, rock, and local music (gnawi, chaabi, kabyle, etc.) in a tonic and humorous synthesis.
In 2007, the L'Usine adventure came to an end, and Sidi Bemol devoted himself fully to CSB Productions, a label he had set up to give him the freedom to create and produce his own music and that of his friends (today, the label includes around ten artists).
A new period began, one of experimentation on all fronts.
With the complicity of Kabyle poet Ameziane Kezzar, Hocine Boukella revisits sea chanteys gleaned from the four corners of the globe, adapting them into Kabyle. Two albums were published, "Izlan Ibahriyen vol. I et II (Chants Marins Kabyles, 1 et 2)".
In 2010, he returned to the Celtic music he had explored with Thalweg ten years earlier, mixing it joyously with Kabyle, Chaâbis, and Chaouis tunes in a tribute album to the three cities that have nurtured him culturally: "Paris Alger Bouzeguène", the third being the hometown of his parents.
In 2014, he brought together young jazzmen fresh from the CMDL with gypsy musicians from Rajasthan to record the album "Afya".
In 2017, at the Théâtre Antoine Vitez, he created a musical tale entitled "L'Odyssée de Fulay", a show halfway between theater and concert, directed by Ken Higelin.
Hocine Boukella has never stopped drawing. He has published several collections of drawings, and his work can be seen on his blog "Le Zembrek".
In 2020, Sidi Bemol published a new album "Chouf!" (Look!), dedicated to the smile revolution and Algerian youth, Sidi Bemol returns to his first love: traditional rhythms colored with blues and rock.

1998 Cheikh Sidi Bemol, Samarkand / Night & Day
2000 Sidi Bemol: Live à Alger, 33tours Ass / Belda Diffusion
2001 Thalweg: Berbero Celtic, Thalweg / Coop Breizh
2003 Sidi Bemol: El Bandi, CSB Prod. / Rue Stendahl
2007 Chants Marins Kabyles vol.1, CSB Prod. / Rue Stendahl
2008 Sidi Bemol: Gourbi Rock, CSB Prod. / Rue Stendahl
2010 Sidi Bemol: Paris Alger Bouzeguène, CSB Prod. / DJP
2012 Chants Marins Kabyles vol.2, CSB Prod. / Rue Stendahl
2014 Sidi Bemol: Afya, CSB Prod. / RFI Talents / L'Autre Distribution
2017 L'Odyssée de Fulay, CSB Prod. / L'Autre Distribution
2020 Sidi Bemol: Chouf!, CSB Prod. / RFI Talents / L'Autre Distribution
2023 ELho: Fat Man's Bar Songs, CSB Productions / L'Autre Distribution (to be released in December 2023)
2024 Sidi Bemol: Guellal Montreal, CSB Prod. / L'Autre Distribution (to be released in April 2024)
With L'Attirail:
2018 L'Attirail feat Sidi Bemol: How to Swim in the Desert, CSB Prod. / L'Autre Distribution
2020 L'Attirail feat Sidi Bemol: Footsteps in the Snow, CSB Prod. / L'Autre Distribution
2023 L'Attirail feat Sidi Bemol: Water and Fire (dedicated to JJ Cale), CSB Prod. (single extracted from Honorables Correspondants)
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