Zehira Darabid, known as Zaho, is an Algerian-born pop-R&B singer, songwriter, and arranger who broke through in 2008.
Born in Oran, Algeria, she grew up in the suburb of Bab Ezzouar but moved with her family to Montreal, Quebec, Canada at age 18. Her early credits include appearances on songs by French rappers La Fouine ("Basta," 2005), Sefyu ("Un Point C Tout," 2006), Soprano ("Hey Papi," 2006), Don Choa ("Lune de Miel," 2007), Tunisiano ("Citoyen du Monde," 2007), Kery James ("Je M'Écris," 2008), and Kamelancien ("Quand Ils Vont Partir," 2008). She also collaborated with Algerian artists including Cheb Mami ("Halili," 2006) and Idir ("Tout Ce Temps," 2007). Amid these many early guest features, Don Choa's "Lune de Miel" became a hit single in late 2007 and set the stage for the unveiling of Zaho's solo recording career. "C'est Chelou," the lead single from her full-length solo album debut, Dima (2008), was released on the heels of "Lune de Miel" and became a smash hit, peaking at number two on the French singles chart. Boasting a Timbaland-esque production style, Dima, a Top 20 hit on the French albums chart, spawned a couple follow-up singles ("La Roue Tourne," "Kif'n'dir") and was one of the year's best-selling albums. In the wake of her success with Dima, Zaho was nominated for numerous year-end awards, most notably winning the 2008 MTV Europe Music Award for Best French Artist and the 2009 NRJ Music Award for French Revelation of the Year. In 2012, Zaho returned with Contagieuse, an album that was certified gold in France. After extensive touring, she contributed original music to the Dove Attia-produced musical La Légende du Roi Arthur. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi