"Don´t ask me anything about music. I cannot explain it. Just give me a guitar and I´ll play. No mystery. I play, I sing, I accompany myself, period."
He is to Arab-Andalusian music what Ibrahim Ferrer is to Cuban music.
A virtuoso singer, lute player and guitarist (left-handed upside down), the "Crooner of the Casbah" was a star at 15 and a principal founder of Algerian pop. His early induction into the world of music took place at a time when Muslim, Jewish, and Spanish musical traditions mingled happily.
He has mastered a number of traditional forms, such as hawzi, and his own brand of Francarab music, a hybrid song style with lyrics in Arabic and French. After more than 20 years of success in his homeland, he relocated to Paris and turned his music into a secondary occupation.
In his late 70s he re-emerged as a powerful performer-songwriter, with a sound as amazingly vibrant and youthful as when he was 30. His indefinable fusion of musical forces bathe his riveting work in eastern emotion and western motion.
Boniche is an ambassador of harmony among people of all creeds and one of the last exponents of a bygone lore. His is a unique blend of old-mode charm and bold confidence in mektoub (fate).
© LFV / John Engel all rights reserved.
© Photo by J.-B. Mondino, © APC, reproduced by permission.
Read Lili's amazing story in the book Uncommon Sound.