Boudjema (also spelled Boudjemâa) was born in Semaoun, Algeria in 1952. He began his career as a singer for Radio Berber Channel 2 and released a single for the Vogue label before moving to Paris in 1980.
Hassen Zermani, is better known as Takfarinas. He was born in Tixeraine in 1958. Takfarinas took his name from the Ancient warrior of North Africa – Tacfarinas (which is how his name is spelled on this record) – who fought against the presence of the Romans in Algeria. He formed first band was band in Algiers in 1976, and three years later moved to Paris to record a solo album titled “Yebwa Reman”. That same year, he met Boudjema Semaouni and the group Agraw was formed.
The band only released two albums before going their separate ways in 1984. Both records were produced by Idir, who also played flute on their recordings, and released them on his Azwaw label.
Boudjema Semaouni kept the name of the band, and became known as Boudjema Agraw. He continued recording, replacing Takfarinas with Karim Tizouiar – who went solo soon after. Boudjema currently lives in El Kseur, Algeria.
Takfarinas had a successful career in the Eighties. He became most recognized for playing the ‘takfa’, which is based on a traditional lute-like instrument which he modified by adding a second neck. He still lives in France, where he records and even has his own website.
Catalog number AZW200 on Azwaw Records of Paris, France. No release date listed.