Idir (in Arabic: إيدير, in Berber: ⵢⵉⴸⵉⵔ, Yidir), by his real name Hamid Cheriet , born on October 25, 1949 in Ait Yenni in the Kabylie region ( Algeria), is a singer, singer-songwriter and Algerian musician.
Idir was not destined for the song. But one of his first titles, A Vava Inouva, (in Kabyle) quickly became in the 1970s a global hit, the first big hit straight from North Africa. His career is marked by a sudden burst of prominence, then a voluntary eclipse of about ten years from 1981. His solo albums are rare, four in four decades. But the work of Idir contributed to the renewal of the Berber song, and brought to the Berber culture an international audience.
Son of a shepherd, born in the village of Ait Lahcene, a village perched on the Djurdjura Mountains, his family background is steeped in tradition and Berber culture. "I was fortunate to have a grandmother and mother poetesses" , he tells a reporter, " we came from far away to listen to them. I bathed in the magical atmosphere of the evenings where tales and riddles were told. In a society of oral culture, the value of the word is immense. The ability to carve words, to invent images, is still very popular with us today ".
Idir undertakes studies in geology and is destined for a career in the Algerian oil industry. In 1973, his musical career began by chance at Radio Alger. He replaced at short notice the singer Nouara, who was to interpret a lullaby he had composed. He interprets this lullaby that will become his first radio success, Rsed A Yidess which means "Come sleep". He recorded this title and a second, A Vava Inouva ("My dad to me"), in 45 laps. Then leave to do his military service of two years. The song begins to spread in Algeria, then goes beyond the borders. Officer in a small barracks, he listens on Algerian and foreign airwaves.