Music lovers gathered in Algeria’s “City of Bridges” to hear a performance by up-and-coming young singer-songwriter, Hadjer Haroun.
Aged just 17, Haroun, who is from Constantine, began building her musical profile at an early age, basing her career on her love of pop, rock, blues and country music.
Discovered on an Algerian TV talent show called ‘Prodiges’, she cites as influences some of the biggest names in rock such as The Beatles, Norah Jones, Katie Melua and Florence and the Machine, and even at her tender age, she already has a loyal band of followers.
“I came especially for Hadjer, first of all to support her, and also to listen to her voice and her songs because she has got a very nice voice, that’s it, yes and of course she is a source of pride for us the Constantinian women and all the Algerian women too,” said one fan called Amina.
Haroun’s performance at Constantine’s Palace of Culture was one of the closing events of the city’s popular jazz festival entitled “Dimajazz”.
Haroun first performed with her uncle in France where she began recording her first album after starting out as a backing singer with a group, which also performed at this year's “Dimajazz” festival.
“My family supports me a lot, and I have an uncle that composes music so he helps me a lot to do that, and we have an audience that likes what I do,” Haroun said.
The young artist has composed more than ten songs which are primarily based on daily events in her life.
She said she has not yet encountered any real opposition to her performances, which are heavily influenced by western musical styles.
“It’s true that we live in a conservative society but since I have many people who support me, I think that I haven’t faced any difficulties yet, and I hope that I won’t in future,” she said.
Dimajazz is one of the 150 official festivals subsidized by the Algerian Ministry of Culture and over time has become one of the leading cultural events in the country.
Algeria’s third city Constantine, 450km east of capital Algiers, is situated on a natural rock fortress at more than 600 meters of altitude. It is an enchanting place connected to the outside world by numerous high bridges. It is also the hometown of many famous Algerian singers.