A real underground musician

A gravelly voice and a beaten-up keyboard: That's all it took for Mohamed Lamouri to find fame busking on the Paris metro. But even with labels and promoters vying for his attention- here's why he continues to entertain commuters with his haunting songs.

From the Subway to success: Brut met with singer Mohamed Lamouri

  • The visually impaired singer Mohamed Lamouri has long sung in the subway before being signed by a record company. Today, he is the author of an album and performs in concert. He told Brut his extraordinary story, which took him from Algeria to Paris.

Mohamed Lamouri was born in Algeria. Visually impaired, he is passionate about music and from a very early age starts singing a cappella in the street. At age 11, he learns to play synthesizer.

It is also the music that pushes Mohamed Lamouri to leave Algeria to come to France. In 2003, while a percussionist in a choir, he was invited to participate in a music festival in La Rochelle. After their concert, the members of the choir return to Algeria. Mohamed Lamouri decides to stay in France, encouraged by his family: "There is no point in returning, there is nothing to do in Algeria," his mother told him.

In France, Mohamed Lamouri continues to play music. His favorite place to go: the Paris subway. The musicians he meets in the subway are, for the Algerian, a source of inspiration: * "I watched the musicians, they played their music, they sold their albums ", says Mohamed Lamouri to Brut. At the beginning of 2005, the young artist jumps in: he buys a synthesizer and decides to sing in the subway. In the subway, he sings in particular songs of Cheb Hasni, the Algerian raï icon.

Before encountering sucess, the beginnings of Mohamed Lamouri were uncertain. He had to change subway line several times in order to seduce the public. He sung in line 10, line 6, line 8 and line 13 before finding his audience in line 2 of the subway. He likes this line of subway in particular because it crosses all Paris, the rich districts like the poor districts.

While singing in the subway, Mohamed Lamouri is noticed by several music labels, he dit not answer any of them. And then, finally, he decides to accept the proposal of the independent music label "Almost Music". Today, Mohamed Lamouri is the author of an album and he performs in concert but, despite his success, he continues to play in the subway. Maybe you'll meet him on a trip on Line 2 of the Paris subway …