HK & Les Saltimbanks musical phenomenon on the roads of France –

HK and Les Saltimbanks in Nîmes

HK the singer has been baptized like this for many years, in truth it is under the identity of Kaddour Hadadi, that the singer travels the roads of France, to meet his audience. As he travels HK, has woven a travel diary, assisted by “The Saltimbanks”, its musicians are recruited, to lead the adventure through improvised scenes or not, sometimes free, or “Participatory” according to Kaddour who does not seek “Neither fame nor money”, to use his words, when we broach the subject of his popularity since the second confinement!

Portrait of a songwriter who draws his inspiration from his vision of our society …

On the web, we can read: Son of Algerian immigrants (Harkis, Kabyle) established in Roubaix in the district of “La Potennerie”, Kaddour became known, between 2005 and 2009, within the group Ministry of Popular Affairs (MAP), with the two albums Stand Up There (2006) and Les Bronzés Make Ch’ti (2009) and many scenes that can be described as Agora / Musicale, the singer not hesitating to share his societal point of view.

In 2009, we can speak of a turning point in the artistic development of Kaddour. HK forms the group “HK & the Saltimbanks”, around songs written “on the road” or “At the end of the night, out of meetings ”, as he likes to define it. This is how the album Citizen of the World was released on January 31, 2011.

The song We loose nothing, extracted from this album is repeated in the demonstrations, and even in the cinema in “The Life of Adele” a movie of by Abdellatif Kechiche, or Léa Seydoux started his successful career, as for Adèle Exarchopoulos (film at the Palme d’Or in Cannes). In the second album of HK and the Saltimbanks, Modern Times, released in May 2012, HK pays tribute to the great resistance Stephane Hessel whom he met in 2010.

With the takeover of Amsterdam, we are also rediscovering Brel, in an “arranged” version. Many participating friends, guest artists participate in the album: Flavia Coelho, Karimouche, Souad Massi, and the group MAP all of them make an appearance there.

In 2012, HK published their first novel titled I write therefore I exist, to editions Riveneuve. In this auto-fiction, HK talks about Roubaix, his city of his childhood.

In 2013, he presented Les Déserteurs, in tribute to his peer musicians and singers, where he performed classics of French song (Padam Padam, Toulouse, Les P’tits Papiers, Vesoul, Born somewhere, Le Plat Pays, The Red Poster, Les Passantes, Under the sky of Paris, The Song of the Old Lovers) in chaabi version. In 2014, he published his second novel Neapolis, published by Riveneuve

Since the second confinement at the end of 2020, his song “To dance again” has enjoyed crowning success in several countries in Europe (Belgium, Italy, Spain, France, etc.). On the web and particularly on “YouTube” the title was ranked “Best Song” with 5,565,805 views in 10 months. The clip shot with the means of the edge to the Carmelite cloister in Avignon, allowed the singer to start a series of “live” performances in several areas of the metropolis!

Kaddour facing the Nîmes of La Placette

Nîmes, in the fall HK invited by the “Petit Théâtre de La Placette” encourages residents to leave their homes on a Sunday evening!

It is the “Bouche à Oreille” which worked in a few days in Nîmes, for the initiates of the improvised concerts or almost… On the initiative of the coming of HK & Les Saltimbanks (Thibault Delbart guitar, Said Zaroni guitar, Mathilde Dupuch accordion), it is the associative theater of the square called “Petit Théâtre”, which allowed the singer to come with Albin to the sound accompanied by Dédé (former organizer of the Quand la Ville Dort).

HK defends ideals, if he claims that we are running to the extreme right, he admits that the French are not racist …“We are connected with what is happening around us” Does he explain to the last people of the plot who waited to have an exchange with the songwriter of the title taken by the Gilets-Jaunes “We loose nothing”.

In Nîmes, on the Town Hall side, we explain “To have been aware, the request of this HK concert obtained our agreement, insofar as the schedules are respected ”, which was the case, retorts a municipal assistant who in this case wishes to remain anonymous. It must be said that the HK phenomenon is scrutinized in high places, the singer during the confinement has also had to explain himself on the “Flashmobs” as well as on the gatherings in the heart of the cities, some municipalities feared overflows, to l ‘era.

For fans of the singer, you can find his albums at FNAC, or on his website according to our investigation, the singer would prepare other songs, which we will find on his site. For now, Saturday November 13 (Le Zéphyr-20h-Hem) will receive the group for a live “Childhood Handicap & Citizenship Without Borders”, a theme that Kaddour distils in his texts, today he works for this change of society.

Eric Fontaine in Nîmes

We would like to say thanks to the author of this short article for this amazing material

HK & Les Saltimbanks musical phenomenon on the roads of France –

Hank Gilbert