The Fort Worth Press - Algerian rapper Soolking plays Harlem's Apollo during debut US tour

USD -
AED 3.672981
AFN 71.621696
ALL 92.327782
AMD 386.758621
ANG 1.796287
AOA 848.999919
ARS 886.754118
AUD 1.49475
AWG 1.8025
AZN 1.703345
BAM 1.798503
BBD 2.012451
BDT 116.712339
BGN 1.796067
BHD 0.376959
BIF 2859.533926
BMD 1
BND 1.343333
BOB 6.886627
BRL 5.103297
BSD 0.996754
BTN 83.044414
BWP 13.505486
BYN 3.261297
BYR 19600
BZD 2.009049
CAD 1.361325
CDF 2805.000065
CHF 0.909096
CLF 0.032418
CLP 894.4992
CNY 7.232302
CNH 7.24005
COP 3807.17
CRC 510.120471
CUC 1
CUP 26.5
CVE 101.394968
CZK 22.725497
DJF 177.482689
DKK 6.86341
DOP 58.386441
DZD 134.378995
EGP 46.829902
ERN 15
ETB 57.250899
EUR 0.919905
FJD 2.254904
FKP 0.796099
GBP 0.787364
GEL 2.749829
GGP 0.796099
GHS 14.252216
GIP 0.796099
GMD 67.902706
GNF 8567.460938
GTQ 7.743448
GYD 208.518777
HKD 7.79806
HNL 24.678824
HRK 6.979956
HTG 132.567571
HUF 355.457988
IDR 15984.3
ILS 3.706605
IMP 0.796099
INR 83.304351
IQD 1305.659267
IRR 42062.498196
ISK 138.260278
JEP 0.796099
JMD 155.543907
JOD 0.708902
JPY 155.676498
KES 131.000239
KGS 88.209301
KHR 4064.85373
KMF 452.725027
KPW 899.999697
KRW 1358.598917
KWD 0.30691
KYD 0.830682
KZT 443.177429
LAK 21274.208677
LBP 89254.933696
LKR 298.725332
LRD 193.496467
LSL 18.209944
LTL 2.95274
LVL 0.60489
LYD 4.817689
MAD 9.923308
MDL 17.636286
MGA 4416.917262
MKD 56.663463
MMK 2093.100246
MNT 3449.999773
MOP 8.010097
MRU 39.727064
MUR 45.940259
MVR 15.460115
MWK 1728.143019
MXN 16.59105
MYR 4.685016
MZN 63.502867
NAD 18.209942
NGN 1495.009954
NIO 36.693704
NOK 10.67526
NPR 132.881802
NZD 1.634775
OMR 0.384887
PAB 0.996625
PEN 3.722102
PGK 3.870772
PHP 57.875045
PKR 277.632194
PLN 3.918728
PYG 7468.06691
QAR 3.6415
RON 4.575696
RSD 107.753997
RUB 90.890023
RWF 1290.405643
SAR 3.750477
SBD 8.475946
SCR 13.637014
SDG 601.00016
SEK 10.691905
SGD 1.345845
SHP 1.26345
SLE 22.847303
SLL 20969.50094
SOS 570.999961
SRD 32.182973
STD 20697.981008
SVC 8.721561
SYP 2512.529855
SZL 18.230307
THB 35.9695
TJS 10.794159
TMT 3.5
TND 3.115018
TOP 2.357024
TRY 32.20596
TTD 6.768314
TWD 32.250498
TZS 2595.000107
UAH 39.32868
UGX 3757.310479
UYU 38.610784
UZS 12677.364477
VEF 3622552.534434
VES 36.580745
VND 25455.5
VUV 118.72199
WST 2.803093
XAF 603.228773
XAG 0.031266
XAU 0.000409
XCD 2.70255
XDR 0.754637
XOF 603.217678
XPF 110.349617
YER 249.899706
ZAR 18.16636
ZMK 9001.202678
ZMW 25.440718
ZWL 321.999592
  • CMSC

    -0.0360

    24.474

    -0.15%

  • RBGPF

    -2.0700

    57.63

    -3.59%

  • RYCEF

    0.0080

    5.298

    +0.15%

  • GSK

    0.1000

    44.98

    +0.22%

  • RELX

    0.1500

    44.07

    +0.34%

  • NGG

    -0.4800

    72.83

    -0.66%

  • AZN

    -0.1400

    76.9

    -0.18%

  • BP

    0.3800

    37.49

    +1.01%

  • RIO

    1.7000

    73.61

    +2.31%

  • BTI

    0.0400

    31.59

    +0.13%

  • SCS

    0.0500

    13.63

    +0.37%

  • VOD

    -0.0100

    9.79

    -0.1%

  • JRI

    0.0000

    11.58

    0%

  • BCC

    -1.2400

    136.05

    -0.91%

  • CMSD

    -0.1300

    24.17

    -0.54%

  • BCE

    0.0000

    34.34

    0%

Algerian rapper Soolking plays Harlem's Apollo during debut US tour
Algerian rapper Soolking plays Harlem's Apollo during debut US tour / Photo: © AFP

Algerian rapper Soolking plays Harlem's Apollo during debut US tour

As his merengue-inflected single "Suavemente" once again topped France's songs chart, Algerian rapper Soolking was stateside, delighting fans and wooing new followers with his blend of rap and Maghrebian folk music.

Text size:

Already acclaimed in the Francophone world, the Algerian rapper Soolking this year set his sights on North America, where he played historic venues including New York's Apollo and the Globe Theatre in Los Angeles.

"I never thought that one day I would come here to sing," the artist born Abderraouf Derradji told AFP backstage ahead of his set at Harlem's esteemed venue, which launched the careers of icons including Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin, and where James Brown recorded a groundbreaking live album.

"It's a mythical hall like Paris' Olympia... where so many legendary artists have performed," said Soolking, wearing oval sunglasses and a black beanie.

"It's an honor for me; it's cool."

Born and raised in a suburb of Algiers, the 32-year-old was born to a percussionist father and at a young age began playing music and learning dance.

He first moved to France in 2008, but returned to Algeria to be in the rap group Africa Jungle, with whom he released two albums: "Ched Rohek" and "Eclipse."

The artist returned to France several years later, launching a solo career in 2016, adopting the moniker Soolking and starting to play small venues and drop music online.

He went viral shortly thereafter after performing his song "Guerilla" -- a track about his experience immigrating without papers -- on the popular French radio Show "Planet Rap."

- 'Representing for Algeria' -

With two successful albums under his belt and another on the way, Soolking embarked this spring on a North American tour that along with New York and Los Angeles included dates in Montreal, Houston, Chicago and Washington.

The artist who sings in both French and Arabic is interested in expanding his global reach but isn't terribly concerned with where his fans come from: "The most important thing is my fans."

"In my country of origin, there's people who listen to me and people who don't listen to me," the rapper continued. "I'm going to look for what's human, because in the end, music is feeling."

As evidenced by his first New York show, Soolking had broken ground in the United States long before he played any of its stages: fans danced and sang along at the Apollo, waving Algerian flags and illuminating their phones.

"It's just amazing to see someone from our country in New York City and their name in lights," said 26-year-old Sarah Hammadi, one of four cousins who traveled from New Jersey to catch the show.

"It's amazing -- he's really representing for Algeria."

"It just feels like you're back at home," seconded her cousin Dilia, 18. "He's such a pop icon in our country... it just brings warmth to our heart."

L.Holland--TFWP