The photo above shows the now abandoned record store and then headquarters of the Disco Maghreb music label in Oran. In 1980s Algeria, Disco Maghreb was to Raï, what Motown Records was to African-American soul in the 1970s.
Although Raï is popular throughout Northern Africa, especially in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, the Algerian port city of Oran has always been considered its home. With both Arab and French influences Raï is folk music played on traditional instruments mixed in with synthesizers, sequencers and drum machines.
It became popular among young people who sought to modernize the traditional Islamic values and attitudes. Regional, secular, and religious drum patterns, melodies, and instruments were blended with Western electric instrumentation. Raï music mixes with hip hop, reggae, funk, blues and with North African beats and rhythms. - Wikipedia
Raï singers usually place the word “Cheb” or “Chab” before their names (Cheba for female artists). Cheb is derived from Shabb or young. Famous Raï singers include (Cheb) Khaled, Cheb Mami, Fella and Cheba Djenet.
Photo courtesy of tomichill.