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All Music Guide:
French rapper Sefyu first surfaced in the early '90s as a member of the NCC (Natural Court Circuit) collective. After countless guest appearances and compilation contributions, in 2005 he released his solo debut, a "street album" (i.e. "mixtape" CD) entitled Rue Molotov 4. His first "proper" album Qui Suis-Je? followed a year later. After a further string of collaborations, his sophomore effort Suis-Je le Gardien de Mon Frère? dropped in 2008.
Youssef Soukouna (born 20 April 1981 in Goutte d'Or, Paris), better known by his stage name Sefyu (French pronunciation: [sɛf'ju], his first name in verlan), is a French rapper of Senegalese descent. He comes from Aulnay-sous-Bois (“Cité des Emmaüs”), a city in the French department of Seine-Saint-Denis (Northern suburbs of Paris). Sefyu originally aspired to become a professional soccer player, but his dream was derailed after he sustained an injury. He emerged on the hip-hop scene in the early 2000s.
Sefyu played for a long time as a left-winger in soccer. He attended the prestigious Shenley Training Centre of Arsenal F.C.
A member of the crews “NCC” (Natural Court Circuit –“ Natural Short Circuit”) and “G-Huit”, he started his ascent to fame by rapping with Rohff on his album La Fierté des nôtres, released in June 2004.
He has worked with a vast array of French rappers, including Moystaff du Bengale, Nemesis, Ritmo, La K-Bine crew, Passi, Sniper, Daddy Lord C. He performed publicly in 2001 at the Francofolies de la Rochelle.
In 2005, he released a « street CD » entitled « Molotov 4 », produced by Kore et Skalp. In April 2006, Sefyu released his first album, Qui Suis-je ? (“Who Am I ?”). Sefyu’s style his characterised by a few features: a deep, husky voice, and a range of unique phrases (“Crrr!”, an onomatopoeia imitating the sound of a gun being cocked; “Crouille”, French slang for “riffraff”; “undercover”... ). Some of his songs belong to the hardcore hip-hop genre (i.e.: “La vie qui va avec”), whereas some others are inspired by R’n’B music (i.e.: “Un point c’est tout”).
His 2007 song “”Lettre du Front” (Letter from the Frontline) was released on R’n’b singer Kenza Farah’s album.
On May 12, 2008, Sefyu released his second album, « Suis-je le gardien de mon frère? » (Am I my brother’s keeper ?). Before its release, Sefyu made a few acclaimed singles (“Mon Public”, “Molotov 4”, “Au pays du zahef”) which contributed to the album’s commercial success: according to Planète Rap Magazine, 106,453 copies of Sefyu’s second album were sold in France in 2008. On March 1, 2009, Sefyu won the Victoire de la Musique Award, in the category “Revelation of the year” .
Sefyu seldom shows his face, and often hides it by wearing a hoody, by hiding it with his fist, a ski mask, or his fitted hat. The reason for this is twofold: as an homage to the "caillera style", and another, more personal reason: his father did not want him to become a rapper, and by not showing his face he shows deference to his father.
Albums 2005 : Molotov 4 2006 : Qui suis-je ? 2008 : Suis-je le gardien de mon frère ?'
2001 Sefyu - "La lutte libère" on "Sachons dire NON Vol.1" La K-Bine Feat Sefyu - "Des hommes en kolère" on "Le Rap est mort" (By La K-Bine)
2002 Gentlemen Feat Sefyu - "Vision 200" on The Gentlemen's album, "Mortelle Saint-Valentin"
2003 Sefyu Feat Rohff, Zesau & Dry - "Baiser" on "Talents fâchés Vol.1" La K-Bine Feat Sefyu - "Crimes impunis" on La K-Bine's album, "Rapport de force"
2004 Rohff Feat Sefyu, Alibi Montana & Kamel L'ancien - "Code 187" on Rohff's album, "La fierté des nôtres" Sefyu - "Flow du Malawi" on "Talents fâchés Vol.2"
2005 Ol' Kainry & Dany Dan Feat Sefyu, Alibi Montana & Nubi - "Crie mon nom Remix" on the street CD of the same name K.ommando Toxic Feat Sefyu - "Pucc fiction Remix" on K.ommando Toxic' album, "Retour vers le futur" Seth Gueko Feat Sefyu - "Patate de forain" on Seth Gueko's street CD, "Barillet plein" Sefyu - "Interlude explicit" on "De la poudre au Rap" Samat Feat Sefyu, Larsen & Alibi Montana - "Ghetto guerrier" on Samat's mixtape, "Samat Feat Hip Hop de rue" Mic Fury Feat Sefyu & Alonzo - "Street zoologie" on Mic Fury's album, "Au bout du tunnel" Sefyu Feat Kuamen - "On vit comme on peut" on "Patrimoine du ghetto" Gentlemen Feat NCC - "Sourire de la haine" on The Gentlemen's mixtape, "Cobra"
2006 Sefyu Feat RR & A.P. - "On va te douiller" on "Illegal radio Alibi "
2007 Aketo Feat Sefyu, Tunisiano & Six Coups Mc - "Style certifié" on Aketo's street CD, "Cracheur 2 venin" Rim'K Feat Sefyu - "Parloir fantôme" on Rim'K's album, "Famille nombreuse" Kenzah Farah Feat Sefyu - "Lettre du front" on Kenza's album, "Authentik" Alibi Montana Feat Sefyu&LIM - "Honneur aux ghettos"
2008 Participated in Urban Peace 2, a hip-hop concert in 2008
2009 La Fouine Feat Sefyu & Soprano - "Ça fait mal Remix" Sefyu Feat RR - "L'œil du ghetto" on "Les yeux dans la banlieue Vol.2"
2009 : Artiste ou révélation du public aux Victoires de la musique avec son album « Suis-je le gardien de mon frère ? ».