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Idir Hamid Cheriet.JPG
Background information
Birth nameHamid Cheriet
OriginBeni Yenni, Algeria
GenresTraditional Kabyle music, Pop , folk, Fusion
Occupation(s)Singer, Songwriter, Record Producer, Musician
InstrumentsVocals, Guitar, Flute, Percussions
Years active1976–present
WebsiteOfficial Site

Hamid Cheriet (in kabyle language Ḥamid Ceryat better known by his stage name Idir or Yidir) is an Algerian singer and musician born on October 25,1949 in Ath Yenni (Tizi Ouzou Province), Algeria[1].


Idir was born in Ath Yenni, a Berber village in Haute-Kabylie; 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 (meaning 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 Light Hunters) appeared on the Blue Silver label. "Les Chasseurs de lumières" is about (his) predilection, love, freedom and exile (which he had known since he moved to the Paris region 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".

Idir restarted his career once again with Identités in 1999, a tribute album which joined numerous artists together including Manu Chao, Dan Ar Braz, Maxime Le Forestier, and Karen Matheson for a "A Vava Inouva 2"; also included were Gnawa Diffusion, Zebda, Gilles Servat, Geoffrey Oryema and the Orchestre National de Barbès.

In 2008, he had a single with "Tout ce temps" written by Zaho, he insisted that she join in for the release of the single as a duo.

Idir is also the writer of "A tulawin", a song made famous by Manu Chao's version named "Denia" (Poor Algeria), in his album Próxima Estación: Esperanza.

Identity and activism[edit]


Idir has participated in many concerts supporting different causes. For example, on June 22, 1995, more than 6,000 people attended a concert for peace, freedom and tolerance performed by the singer and his friend Khaled, initiators of the association "l'Algérie, la vie" (Algeria and life). Idir also took part in the concert in memory of Matoub Lounes, the Kabyle singer who was assassinated in 1998.

Idir defended his national identity once again at "Le Zénith" in Paris in the spring of 2001 at the "21st Berber Spring", a celebration of Berber culture, and on July 8, he organised a special fund-raising concert to support the population in Kabylie when anti-government riots rocked the cradle of Berber culture in the summer of 2001. Idir was joined by a number of stars and thousands of Algerian and French fans who turned out to "Le Zénith" to support the population in Kabylie.



(For comprehensive listing of track lists of Idir albums, see Idir discography in French Wikipedia])

Year Album Chart
1976 A Vava Inouva
1979 Ay arrac nneɣ (Ay Arrac Negh)
1993 Les chasseurs de lumières
1999 Identités 23
2002 Deux rives, un rêve
2005 Entre scènes et terres (live album) 125
2005 La France des couleurs 22
2013 Idir 43
2017 Ici et ailleurs[3] 12


Year Singles Chart
2002 "Pourquoi cette pluie?" 64 Deux rives, un rêve
2016 "A Vava Inouva" 131


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b " Idir discography page". Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  3. ^ "« Ici et ailleurs », le nouvel album d'Idir, sortira le 7 avril". Chouf-Chouf (in French). March 2, 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums – SNEP (Week 16, 2017)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 25 April 2017.


External links[edit]