Staïffi, Alberto

"Chérie je t’aime, Chérie je t’adore", simple and effective formula that made, that makes and will make the crowd dance until exhaustion.
When in 1960, Alberto STAIFFI covers this song of Maghreb tradition, it becomes a hymn to the dance, the fun but also to the nostalgia and forgetfulness of an Algeria left too soon, leaving with it the warmth of its white capital, its streets filled with various perfumes and bewitching music.
Real hit, "Mustafa, chérie je t’aime, chérie je t’adore" will be the consecration of a career started earlier in Parisian cabarets and more specifically "Le Soleil d’Algérie" along with famous artists such as Dario MORENO, Henri GENES and especially Sidney BECHET.

Famous American clarinettist (former partner of "Duke" ELLINGTON, Louis ARMSTRONG or Josephine BAKER), Sidney BECHET quickly becomes a friend, a confidant, a real older brother for STAIFFI. Understanding very quickly the talent of STAIFFI, he will introduce him to the music label Vogue with which he will sign a contract. The starting point will be the 45 rpm record "Les Oignons" a famous song of BECHET adapted in Arabic and that will be broadcasted many times on French radio Europe 1.

Since then, STAIFFI starts a real career in the music label Vogue along with other promising artists of the label such as Johnny HALLYDAY, Colette RENARD, Jean CONSTANTIN, ... writing hit after hit, "Faubourg Montmartre", "Mon pays", "Du tout ennuyé"... First consecration: the famous French concert hall OLYMPIA, where he performs with Colette RENARD and Jean CONSTANTIN.

The happy, rhythmic but also nostalgic songs will make him known on both sides of the Mediterranean sea, a mixture of West and East offering him a triumphal tour throughout the Maghreb and the Middle East.

But the political events that shake Algeria and France catches him up. "MUSTAFA (chérie je t’aime, chérie je t’adore)" becoming very popular at the time, rumours circulate that this song is the hymn of the F.L.N. (National Liberation front). From that moment, STAIFFI’s career turns into a nightmare; he is threatened, he who is not politically engaged. He is asked to stop singing "MUSTAFA". The general governor in ALGIERS gives the order to ban the sale of the record "MUSTAFA" and all contracts and concerts of STAIFFI ET SES MUSTAFA’S are canceled. Traumatized, he decides to leave the artistic profession.

After 5 years of silence, in 1965, STAIFFI finally signs a contract with Barclay and records an EP of 4 tracks in close collaboration with his friend Gabriel CHEKROUN (author): : TAPE CINQ, YAHOLELE, LES FILLES DE BOUFARIK and LA TCHOUKTCHOUKA. This 45 RPM disc is a great success. But, scars having difficulty to close, he stops completely with the profession and settles in the south of France, in Montpellier.

In 2001, Barclay/Universal informs STAIFFI that his song "TAPE CINQ" is present on a compilation produced by the music label E.M.I. "LA VÉRITÉ ÇA C’EST UNE COMPIL" along with Dalida, Khaled, Alabina, Rachid TAHA, etc... Later, the songs recorded with Barclay in 1965 are published on several compilations (FRANCE LOISIRS, MARIANNE MELODIE, READER’S DIGEST...). "LA TCHOUKTCHOUKA" was even used for the music of the film "SHEM" by Caroline ROBOH.

At the same time, STAIFFI is asked to host a show entitled "Success of yesterday, today’s success" on a local radio in MONTPELLIER: RADIO AVIVA. This contact with thousands of listeners puts him back into the artistic world. Which is not displeasing to him.

In 2013, STAIFFI recorded a new song called "POURQUOI M’AS TU ABANDONNE / AÂLECH KHALLITINI OUAHDI ?". This song was written in close collaboration with his two great friends Jean-Paul CARA and Gabriel CHEKROUN.

Today, all of his songs produced by Vogue / Sony Music and Barclay / Universal are available for download on the internet. In addition, two CDs have been re-issued : the disc TAPE CINQ !, produced by Barclay in 1965, and the CD BEST-OF with 20 songs, including the famous hit "MUSTAFA (chérie je t’aime, chérie je t’adore)", produced by Vogue/Sony Music in 2010.

* Biography based on Alberto Staïffi’s website

Look at Alberto Staïffi’s website

Listen to the radio show dedicated to Staïffi

Watch videos of Staïffi on his Youtube channel

Reade the article dedicated to Staïffi in the French magazine Je chante ! n°12 of January 2016 dedicated to French-Arabic songs

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