25 October 1949
Beni Yenni, Tizi Ouzou, Algeria
2 May 2020 (aged 70)
Idir was born Hamid Cheriet, in Aït Lahcène, Algeria (a Berber village in Beni yenni Haute-Kabylia). This farmer's son started studying Geology and was destined for a career in the petroleum industry before his rise to stardom. Idir has been the ambassador of the Kabyle culture, especially the Kabyle music, with only his vocals and acoustic guitar. Idir has always used his status to claim his Berber (Amazigh) identity. His first album A Vava inouva came out in 1976, and the song A Vava inouva was translated into seven languages. After notable success, Idir wrote and recorded his second album "Ay Arrac Negh" (To Our Children) in 1979.
Idir restarted his career again with the release of a compilation in 1991 of seventeen songs from his first two albums A Vava inouva and "Ay Arrac Negh".
In 1993, a new album les Chasseurs de lumières (the hunters of lights) appeared on the Blue Silver label. les Chasseurs de lumières is about love, freedom and exile (which he had known since he moved to Paris in 1975). The acoustic guitar gives to the songs of this album a touch of modernism. We can also hear the voice of the Breton singer Alan Stivell in the duo Isaltiyen.
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