Hope you don’t mind. This one’s a bit personal.
A week or so ago I got a call telling me Cheb I Sabbah has Stage 4 stomach cancer… and no health insurance. I was floored. I had just seen and hugged him in LA days before and a few months before that in Goa for one of the best sets of music I have ever experienced. He played for 5 hours…straight.
For those of you who don’t know the man, we want to give you a little background on the godfather of South Asian fusion music, affectionately known as Chebiji.
No, he’s not Indian. Cheb I Sabbah is Algerian, but he’s really a global citizen and one of the most generous and amazing musicians around. He’s spent years listening to music from around the world and singling out tracks to make them work on the dance floor. And they do work. Just ask the people who have been frequenting Nikki’s BBQ in SF for the last 2 decades, myself included. And the throngs of people who come out to hear him spin no matter where he is. People from all walks of life moving to the Universal beat of a Cheb I Sabbah mix.
His influence on the global electronic music and DJ scene cannot be over estimated. He has shown two entire generations that classical world traditions can blend beautifully and respectfully with DJ Culture.
Chebiji’s debut album for Six Degrees Records, Shri Durga, is considered one of the true classics of South Asian Fusion. Although he was born in Algeria, Sabbah’s unique affinity for the music of India and Pakistan has resulted in some of the most distinctively beautiful marriages of tradition and “DJ Science” ever recorded.
As Chebiji himself says, “When you are a musician, It’s a gift given to you and you should share it. Music already exists in the Universe. Musicians are doing a different interpretation of the vibrations in the universe.”
Below he speaks about his music and we’ve chosen a few of our favorites to share with you.
But before we get to the music – friends of Chebiji have launched the Cheb-i-Sabbah Cancer Treatment Fund for all his fans around the world to raise the money to send him for treatment at a clinic in Germany. The outpouring has been amazing as is fitting Chebiji, but cancer treatment is expensive. As you listen to the music, see what you feel inclined to give and shine the healing light on our friend Cheb I Sabbah.
Watch Chebiji talk about his music
The Devotion Album Release Party
Some of our favorites
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