Algerian rai musician: Censorship on political songs in the West

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Algerian rai musician: Censorship on political songs in the West

Algerian musician and rai music rebel Rachid Taha has told BBC World Service that he believes Western radio stations are more restrictive in what music they play than their counterparts in the Middle East, because they refrain from airing political songs.

Algerian musician and rai rebel Rachid Taha has told BBC World Service that he believes Western radio stations are more restrictive in what music they play than their counterparts in the Middle East because they refrain from airing political songs.

“You hear no political songs on the radio in Europe – just Britney Spears and that sort of thing,” he told the BBC World Service’s The Music Biz show.

“Censorship is actually stronger in the West. Western leaders lead us to believe we are free to express our views – when actually we’re not.”

Rachid Taha lives in France and is currently in the middle of a tour with this band. His music blends North African roots with rock, punk and techno, and in more than two decades, he has been an outspoken singer in the rai genre. “Rai” is not only the name of the Algerian style of pop music, it is also the Arabic word for “opinion”.


BBC News story

Rachid Taha’s home page

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