(Born Mohammed Khelifati; 1966-) Native of Algeria
(later residing in France
) and highly influential Alegerian Rai
musician. Born in Saïda
, Mami began singing seriously at the age of twelve and had made recordings by the time he was sixteen.
Mami's first major album, Le Prince du Raï (The Prince of Rai) was released in 1989 and met with great success, particularly among the Algerian youth that were the target audience of the rai movement. However, because of the risque nature of rai music within the Islamic cultural context, the risks of Mami's continuing to live in Algeria were too great (several other rai musicians had been assasinated around the time), and he eventually relocated to Paris.
In France Mami was also quite successful. After another album ("Let me Rai"), Mami signed a major contract with Virgin Records, and produced several more records including "Saïda" and "Douni el Bladi". One of Mami's recent albums, "Meli, Meli" has been highly successful, reaching Platinum status in France and netting more international recognition than his previous works.
Mami has also collaborated with Los Angeles rapper Baby Girl; as well as French MC K-Mel (leader of Alliance Ethnik) on "Parisien Du Nord," a very popular dance single in France (also appearing on "Meli, Meli)". Most noted, however, is Mami's recent collaboration with American pop divo Sting for the hit single "Desert Rose" (appearing on Sting's "Brand New Day" album).
Mami's most recent album "Dellali," further incorporates elements of American disco and funk. Like its predecessors, Dellali has been selling quite well thusfar.