The 5-minute Interview: Souad Massi, Singer and songwriter

'I look forward to working with Paul Weller'
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The Independent Online

Souad Massi, 35, is a singer songwriter who lives in Paris. She has just released her new album 'Acoustic' and will be one of more than 35 African and Western acts, including Damon Albarn; Baaba Maal; Reverend and The Makers; Rachid Taha; Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly; The Aliens; Hard Fi and Amadou and Mariam, appearing at the Africa Exprez show on 6 March at the Olympia in Liverpool. Visit: www.africaexpress.co.uk

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

Cooking, cleaning and packing, as I am travelling to London tomorrow to work in the studio with Paul Weller, which I'm really looking forward to. Then, on Saturday, I'm doing a solo acoustic show in London, so I'm running about to make sure everything is done before I travel.

I wish people would take more notice of...

The bringing up of children. As parents, it's the one priority you have. Today, people seem to run around working for material things, yet forget to give time to children.

A phrase I use far too often is...

" Ce n'est pas grave" (it's no big deal).

A common misperception of me is...

That I live the life of a star, when I have a very normal life. I love being with my family and spending time in my garden.

The most surprising thing that happened to me...

Was the day I played my first show in France in 1999, having been invited from Algeria to go to Paris and perform at Le Cabaret Sauvage as part of the Women of Algeria festival. Afterwards I was approached by Universal and asked to sign for them, which changed my life completely.

I am not a politician but...

Because of my singing, I have the privilege of being able to have my opinions printed in the media. I follow politics around the world and use the voice I have to talk about some of the many injustices there are.

I'm good at...

Listening and talking to people. I think I am very sociable.

I'm very bad at...

Cooking cakes. I try, but they are never good.

The ideal night out is...

The Nuit de la Musique (festival) in Paris, going from one concert to another.

In moments of weakness I...

Eat chocolate.

You know me as a singer but in truer life I'd have been...

Working as an architect, as that is what I studied.

The best age to be is...

Twenty, at that age you are carefree.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this...

Better to have regrets for having done something than having not done it.

Andrew Black

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