Lounis Aït Menguellet (17 January 1950) was born in Ighil Bouammas in Tizi Ouzou Province, is a Berber singer from Algeria, who sings in the Berber language (Kabyle variant). Lounis Aït Menguellet is certainly one of the most popular and charismatic artists of the contemporary Kabyle music scene.
He is a poet-musician who has become something of a symbol of the Kabyle demands for recognition. Kabylie has been the setting for many fierce confrontations. Although Lounis’s songs are frequently about Kabylie and its history and its present suffering and misery, he is always quick to state that he isn’t a politician and he doesn’t get involved in politics. However, few can deny the political clout of his songs or their political and sometimes very biting and critical messages.
Many critics of Lounis Aït Menguellet's career like to see it as two distinct parts and because that is a generally accepted view it will be the one offered here. The first part is seen as being centred on the production of love songs and nostalgia. Frequently there are references to a lost love. The songs tend to be shorter than he produces today. Typical songs from this period are Thalt Ayam (Three Days) and Tayri (Love). The second part of his career is characterised by longer songs which demand close reading and interpretation – for example the beautiful and tragic Akw nikhdaa rebbi (Be cursed).