Watcha Clan


Sista K, Suprem Clem, Nassim et Matt Labesse form the French band Watcha Clan.

“We want to be understood by everyone,…”, the charismatic lead singer Sista K explains. “… Singing with different languages is the first step to a cultural integration and expressing our message in English is important because this language is international. Maybe that is not what people expect from world-music, but what is important is that we understand one with each over”. With Radio Babel, music has the power to go through all frontiers.

This global philosophy, connecting Europe with the Middle-East and the two Mediterranean shores has always been essential for the Watcha Clan’s success. Sista K is joined here by a multi-cultural casting composed with the keyboard player and producer Suprem Clem, Matt Labesse as bassist, and Oranais Nassim Kouti as singer and guitarist. With Radio Babel, she invites us to see a show: the wall’s collapse of incomprehension and cultural barriers. “Diaspora Hi-Fi was more a journey through my experience and my roots”, Sista K says, “today, my obsession is the wall, both concrete and abstract”. An obsession which is illustrated on the video we can find on the album, a kind of short documentary film dealing with debates on the frontier between Mexico and the United States and the wall which is going to be built, with the emblematique soundtrack “We are one” in the background.

With their album Diaspora Hi-Fi, made in 2008, now they have an international fan’s community. In 2009, « Diaspora Remixed » is released and gives us a series of remixes made by the very best of “global beat” scene: Transglobal Underground, Shazalakazoo… That represents as many producers DJs as friends they met on the road. These contributions have enhanced the sound’s range that we find on this new album. Actually, Watchan Clan has always demonstrated in its music a spiritual and visionary eclecticism, drawing its inspiration from as many urban electronic circles of influence as Northern African, Israeli, Turkish or Balkans folklores, the whole thing sublimating by the magical Sista K’s voice.

Unlike many others electronics projets, every Watcha Clan’s member can actually really play to their instruments. Instead of using guitars, gumbri, percussion instruments and samplers like a mere means of making music, they use them like weapons in order to create trance they produce on stage. With Radio Babel, there’s no album to this day that succeeded in emphasising this originality. Somes years ago, the band felt divided between in one hand: albums’s projects in this numerical era and mobile studio, and on the other hand: a live band drawing samples as fast as karkabous. This new album is the perfect fusion of these two identities. Whatever these nomadic souls’ sound is, Watcha Clan wants to underline through music the cultures’ likeness more than their differences.


Radio Babel

Label: Piranha/Vaï la bott
Distribution in France: L'Autre Distribution
Release date: February 14, 2011

The biblical city of Babel and its infamous tower have received bad press over the centuries. Imagined as a looming structure built by children in which all residents spoke the same language, the omnipresent God decided to trick humans in order to make them scatter – the word Babel is derived from the Hebrew balal, to “jumble.” Yet if we consider the tower as a prototype radio transmitter, as Marseille, France-based Watcha Clan does on its latest album, the sound of one world singing and dancing together makes perfect sense.
Watcha Clan has always exhibited a visionary spiritual eclecticism in its sound, stretching from Gnawa trance and drum n bass to hip-hop, Balkan brass and Sephardic folk, with thriving bass-heavy pulsations countered by Sista K’s show-stopping vocals. “Diaspora Hi-Fi was more a travel through my background and roots,” she says. “Now my obsession is ‘the wall’, both concrete and abstract. "Radio Babel is predominantly concerned with destroying boundaries everywhere. The first video, a mini-documentary focused on Mexican-American border issues, is set to the breakthrough song "We Are One,” and features interviews with migrant workers and farmers.
Whatever sound these nomadic souls travel through, you can be certain that Watcha Clan will accomplish what great artists do: highlight the similarities between cultures through music, instead of complaining about the differences. To hear the sound of one world united by music, join the movement on Radio Babel.

Watcha Clan - Radio Babel

Diaspora Hi-Fi

Label: Piranha - CD-PIR2230
Distribution in France: Discograph

Date de sortie : 17 mars 2008

Altruistic dealers in cultures and humanities, they juggle rhythms and languages (French, Arabic, Hebrew, English) to the beat of the memories they have, the people they meet and the places they see. From the Eastern European melodies Karine’s mother sang to her when she was little to the chaabi, the Algerian blues Nassim the “khouya” (brother) from Oran, a friend and collaborator since 2003, introduced them to, from the cherifian grooves of Amarg Fusion to the burning lyrics of the Bourbia brothers, the MCs of Tox from Oran, to the hip-hop kick that appeals to Clem, the clan’s music man and sampler extraordinaire; Diaspora Hi-Fi, their new album, sings with the freedom of spirit of travelling people.

Watcha Clan - Diaspora Hi-Fi