SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Mr Hugo Hadji

BA: University of West London; MMus: SOAS distinction


Hugo Hadji
Mr Hugo Hadji
Email address:
Thesis title:
Listening to New Raï: Algerian identities in the 21st century.
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


Hugo Hadji is a current Doctoral Researcher at SOAS and a UK-based guitarist specialising in North African Music. His research project investigates the current place and role of the latest form of Raï music in Algeria. He holds a BA in Music Performance from the University of West London and an MMus degree in Ethnomusicology from SOAS, where he wrote his dissertation on the same topic.

PhD Research

My research focuses on the social significance and meaning of New Raï music in Algeria for its producers, performers, and audience. Following a multidisciplinary approach, my research will delineate the musical and sonic universe of New Raï, and explore the interrelation between the style, its older forms, other Algerian music genres as well as musical global trends. By looking at New Raï production and distribution processes, my research will investigate the technological mediation of the music, its dissemination in the 21st digital century, and the Algerian music industry. Combined with analyses of performance and listening practices, I will study the importance of the music in offering spaces for identity and individual agency negotiation, and so in discussion with contrasting Algerian societal norms and power relations. With this research, I intend to modernise the scholarship on Raï music which has been focusing mostly on the lyrical aspect of the style during the 1980s and early 1990s. During the 2019/20 academic year, I will be conducting fieldwork research in Algeria.


  • Navigating social borders through the music of New Raï’, Doctoral Research Conference on Migration and Mobility, Centre for Migration & Diaspora Studies and SOAS Journal of Postgraduate Research, SOAS, London, 23 March 2019.


  • British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE)
  • Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM)
  • Société Française d’Ethnomusicologie (SFE)