Beyond The Trance
It’s taken a long time coming; seven years since Mezel’s previous album ‘Len’ and thirteen since her debut ‘Wedfel’ . A fearlessly modern blend of North African Amazigh - or ‘Berber’ (dating back more than 4000 years) music with other styles that inhabit the Iness Mezel’s complex identity, such as funk, soul and jazz. “My music was there,” says Iness, “but it just needed something or someone to optimize it.” That someone was Justin Adams, English guitarist of blossoming fame, sideman to Robert Plant. (He produced and performed on the album).
The result for Iness was a marriage made in musical heaven; and the result ‘Beyond The Trance’
Fatiha Messaoudi aka Iness Mezel was born to a Franco-Italian mother and an Algerian-Kabyle father. She lived in the working class suburb of St Ouen in Paris and then moved to Algeria when she was 7. She then went to live with her grandmother back in France. She realised from an early age how music was deeply entrenched in her soul. When she went back to Paris she fell in love with pop, disco and funk. She then started to work professionally, mostly as a stand-in singer and studied piano at the conservatory throughout her teens. She took lessons in lyrical singing with Nicole Maison, a baroque singer with the Camerata de Paris. She also learned jazz improvisation with the Paris-based American singer Sarah Lazarus.
So, in many ways, ‘Beyond the Trance’ is a reaffirmation; a reclamation of confidence, “of giving myself to myself, ” as Iness describes it. “I was able to see myself how I am, and express the whole me; French, Kabyle, Parisian, everything.”