In this series from the Norient book Seismographic Sounds (see and order here) we learn about different strategies of artists to fund their music. In short quotes musicians tell from their own perspectives. Today: Algerian rapper Rabah Ourrad aka Rabah Donquishoot.
I was a rapper in Algeria and now I’m the owner and head chef of a restaurant in Notting Hill, London. My hip hop group MBS had a deal with Universal Music in the 1990s. We sold more than 40,000 albums, but decided not to renew our contract. First, they wanted us to rap in French. We considered ourselves Algerian rappers. Second, our attitude and our political and artistic orientation did not match with their objectives. I had to come up with new ideas of financing my life then. I worked as a bartender, studied French literature, and graduated at a cookery school in Paris. Now I cook creative, colorful dishes at my Wormwood restaurant. And I still rap. I keep following my master plan: take a minimum of thirty years to create Algerian hip hop from scratch. Or – a bit less pretentious – create a legendary band or become an amazing solo rapper. If, to you, a successful strategy means to release an album every year, mine wasn’t successful. But I’m still here.
This quote was recorded via email, 8.6.2015, and published first in the second Norient book Seismographic Sounds