b. Hamadi Hadefi, 1959, Oran, Algeria. Inspired by local singers such as Khaled, Tati formed his first band, with his brothers and friends, in 1975. They played at parties and weddings around Oran and the young vocalist soon attracted the attention of local record producers, who invited him to record for them. Over the next few years, Tati released six cassettes, which sold well in his home-town and made him a local celebrity. Disillusioned by the shady business practices of the Oran music scene, Tati moved to Paris in 1984, where he began singing at weddings and parties. Five years later, by now popular with the growing Algerian community in Paris, the French Blue Moon label released El Hamman, Tati’s international debut. Co-produced by Dennis Bovell, the album featured Tati’s powerful wailing vocals, with an Arabic-style electro funk backing and Bovell’s reggae basslines. In 1990 he performed at a large concert of Algerian singers at the Olympia Hall in Paris and also toured, for the first time, in the USA and Canada. Two years later, Tati contributed a ‘rai-rap’ to an album produced by Japanese dance music pioneer OTO. The two continued to work together and in 1996 released Dans La Vie, which mixed Tati’s Algerian rai style with a variety of current dance music styles, including jungle, hip-hop and trip-hop. In December 1996 Tati was arrested in connection with a murder that occurred during one of his concerts. He was subsequently released and no charges were brought against him.
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