One of the more prominent voices in Algerian music has sadly passed away.
Rachid Taha died on Wednesday from an apparent heart attack at the age of 59.
Taha is credited for fusing Algerian folk music with rock.
When he cut his cover of “Rock the Casbah,” it put him on the map as a true visionary in raï music.
Take a listen:
The idea came about when Taha met The Clash in the early 1980s.
There are actually some that believe the inspiration behind that 1982 hit song was that meeting between Taha and the band members.
While he struggled during most of the ’80s, Taha hit it big just as the decade was closing out.
Taha started collaborating with Western musicians to create the sound that made him famous.
In 2013, Mick Jones, the guitarist for The Clash, worked with Taha on what ended up being his final record, “Zoom.”
Life Emulates Art
Just as his music fused different styles, Taha lived a similar lifestyle.
According to friends, he was always more than willing to step outside his ethnic circle to experience new things.
Taha once stated: “I’ve never wanted to just stay in my own neighborhood, my own community.”
“It’s a kind of conformism. You have to be adventurous,” he added.
Taha apparently had no problem burning the midnight oil, even as he grew older, with friends telling stories of how he would stay out all night partying.
His zest for life apparently caught up to him, though, as he died in his sleep from a cardiac arrest less than a week before turning 60.