Mohamed Boudjemaa El Ankis

Algeria

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Mohamed Boudjemaa El Ankis's bio

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Mohamed Boudjemaa El Ankis was born in 1927 in Algiers, inside la Kasbah Bir-Djebbah.

He grew up in a poor and large family. This great Chaabi master learned very young playing mandola and guitar and he was initiated to the Arab language. He took lessons from Chouiter and Mohamed Kébali whose troupe worked for the Algerian People Party at the end of the 30s. He met prestigious artists like the great Cheikh Said El Meddah. He made his first public apparition in 1942 during a wedding and performed “Ala Rssoul El hadi Ya Achiq”.

Then, he integrated the El Anka and Mrizk troup in 1945, both superstars at that time, with whom he sang various artistic repertoires. He began with the Mdih, including essentially the Qacidates “Chouf Li Ouyoubek Ya Rassi”, “Ya Ighafel”, “Ya Khalek Lachia”, “zaoubna Fi H’mak” and “El Baz”, of poets Ben Mssayeb, Ben Sahla, Bentriki, Benkhlouf, Kaddour El Allaoui and Driss Al Amir.

With the help of success, Mohamed made some music arrangements and began singing light-hearted songs in the middle of the 50s. He was, however, downhearted by the artistic director of Phillips record company who refused his works. He decided to stop singing, broke his mandola and was enrolled as council flat security guard. He wouldn’t be saved from the liberation war. He was arrested and tortured by the French army in 1957 and 1960.

He came back to music after jail with an independence anthem “Djana El Intissar”, recalling the manifestations of December 11, 1961, he wrote and composed. He carried on, then, works treating young preoccupations with a great numbers of hits. Mohamed Boudjemaa El Ankis has till now more than three hundred songs in his favour, from Medh and Tajwid to Djed and light-hearted songs.

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