Akli Yahyatene at the center of a controversy

At nearly 90 years old, the famous Kabyle singer Akli Yahyatene is at the center of a lively controversy in Algeria. The artist condemned the National Copyright Office (ONDA) rejection of the songs in the album he had just finished recording.

The album has eight songs, four in Kapil and several in Arabic, the 62-year-old writer explained to Echoruk TV.

But some of those recordings are not accepted by ONDA because of the question of copyright. “I was told the commission rejected them and I don’t know why,” he says.

Intervening in the same media, his agent also did not reveal the reasons for the refusal, contenting himself with recalling the singer’s long career, his patriotism and his revolutionary past. “Nobody recorded an album in the 90s,” he points out.

The case has led to a lot of speculation on social media. Censorship, plagiarism, misunderstanding?

According to Hassan Ouali, journalist and former director of Liberté, this is a copyright case. Two songs on the album were rejected by ONDA as they were not owned by the singer. One would be the work of the late Tahmane el Harachi and the other would belong to the Maghreb tradition.

Singer and radio host Belaid Takrawla, well aware of what was happening in the art scene, explained that Yahyatene did not match the two songs. A second tradition. Hence the rights pass to the legitimate heirs. “Da Akli Yahyatene has been misled. All his songs have been accepted by ONDA,” wrote Pelait on social media.

Akli Yahyatene was one of the writers of Kabile. In his 62-year career, he has numerous songs in Kabyle and Algerian Arabic, the most famous of which is undoubtedly the popular patriotic song “Ya Lmenfi”, which has been covered by many singers, including Rachid Taha and Seb Khaled. Yahyatene was a mujahid who knew the prisons of French colonialism.

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