Rachid Taha Rock El Casbah

The first time I heard Rachid Taha sing, it was on French television in Paris. I glanced at the screen to see the artist behind the voice that resonated with energy.

Rachid Taha is a popular French-Algerian musician. Some would call him a Raï artist, a form of music that is native to Algeria with rebellious origins that has endured censorship with time. Yet he delivers a mélange of Arabic, North African and Western elements that give his music a broad appeal.

Rachid Taha took part in the Luminous Event at the Sydney Opera House held in June 2009. With a voice and an attitude to match, there is often rebellion behind his art and bad boy sex appeal.

I love the passion and energy in his songs, particularly evident in his rendition of the Clash’s Rock the Casbah, (in Arabic, “Rock El Casbah”), which appeared in the 2007 film, The Future Is Unwritten, about the Clash front man Joe Strummer.

I have included two video clips of the same song, the first for the scenes in and around the Medina, and the second which showcases his energy on stage. The lyrics to Rock El Casbah (in English) are worth the read.

Official Clip

Live Version


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.