From fiery rap to ‘inner peace’: Diam’s elusive story

The artist, who finished his artistic career, co-directed the documentary film Houda Benyamina and Anne Cissé. Welcomein a special screening at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. A look back at the extraordinary fate of the French rap icon.

“Sometimes I wonder: How many of us have been pretending?” In the trailer for his documentary Welcome (“Salam” in Arabic), presented on Thursday, May 26 at the Cannes Film Festival, Melanie Georgiades, 41, “Relives Her Memories”. No one has forgotten the person we named Deem: her short haircut, XXL earrings, and limitless energy.

After his victory over the general public in 2003 thanks to his title DJ, the young woman experienced a meteorite rise. To his credit, “Fifty Zenith”, concerts attended by hundreds of thousands of spectators, and millions of albums were sold. In the mid-2000s, the whole of France sang its nickname dumplings. Sixteen years later, it was necessary Night Confessions It never fails to ring in karaoke nights.

on the video, Welcometeaser

Music choked my soul’s cry

However, in 2010, Deem disappeared. Two years later, the artist announced the end of her career as a rapper, in an interview with the program “Sept à Huit”. In question: intimate cracks, invisible to the general public for a long time. Injuries that the former singer can cause in her surprising documentaryAnd His release was announced at the end of April. “The more days went by, the more I sank (…), she declared in the trailer unveiled on Wednesday, May 25th. The music was so loud, it drowned out the cry of my soul.”

The former artist has so far rejected any proposal related to a biography. She was afraid her life would become a “scene,” she explained to her 300,000 Instagram followers. With that, Dim decided to “take the pen back”. I co-directed Welcome With Hoda Benyamina and Anne Cissé. Since then, mystery hangs over this movie, which will be released in cinemas only at 1Verse and 2 July.

Will she talk about her childhood as the only daughter born in the early 1980s in Cyprus? His arrival in France at the age of three after the separation of his parents? His tormented adolescence in the Parisian suburbs, between the attempted suicide at age 15 and the domestic violence perpetrated by his ex-boyfriend, at 17? The secret is still well kept. Melanie Georgiades may also return to her first steps in the world of music, at the beginning of the nineties.

success at 17

In 1994, Melanie Georgiades, then in the third grade, joined the group of friends who introduced her to the formation. Three years later, she joined the Mafia Trece group. In the twilights of the ’90s, his first album, First semester. Diam is not yet 18 years old, and she has already interrupted her studies to devote herself to music. At 22, the singer is a rap icon. his second album, raw woman, is a crowned golden disc. The next round wins a whirlwind of glory, which culminated with his coronation in 2004, at the Victoires de la Musique. It won Best Rap Album of the Year.

In 2006, his album in bubble It achieves great success. The same year, Melanie Georgiades recounts the abuse she experienced at the age of seventeen, as part of a campaign to combat violence against women. “In addition to physical violence, I experienced devastating psychological harassment. However, I did not file a complaint. Because I was afraid. Because it was a shame. Because, when you are young, it is part of the code: You cannot file a complaint with the police.

Video, “06400-Cannes”: Postcard from the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, Episode 3

“why me ?”

In terms of public life, Diam excites crowds. On the private side, the singer plunges into the abyss of loneliness and pain. “I was unhappy, alone in my bed, she recalls in ‘Seven to Eight’. Sometimes I cried like a child, not knowing what on earth I was doing. Why me? That was the question I always asked myself. Why this success, this money, This glory?Three weeks before the 2008 Victoires de la Musique, the artist was admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

During the show, the rapper could not hold back her tears to the applause of the audience. “I wanted to tell people: ‘Stop, you don’t know,'” she continues. “There, you see an envelope but inside, it’s dead, there’s nothing left. I’m empty, sad, unhappy.” The singer, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, experienced a real descent into hell, between clinic visits, depression, and a suicide attempt. “People somewhere would rather me roast myself in my glory as Amy Winehouse,” she wrote in her autobiography published in 2013.

chain reaction

His salvation will come from prayer. One evening, she was having dinner with two friends. One of them is a Muslim bowing. Dim asks her if she can participate in his prayers. A true inspiration for the artist. “It’s as if all the mountains have fallen off my shoulders,” she narrates in “Seven to Eight.” After reading the Qur’an, the young woman decided to convert to Islam in 2008. A transformation in personality, however, was exposed by the popular press. She appears fully veiled in the photos published by the tabloid. The article causes a chain reaction.

“It was a robbery, it robbed me of an intimate part of my life,” Melanie Georgiades said. My mother had never seen me wear such an outfit before. (…) Everyone has lost their foothold. I lost a big part of my team because no one had confidence anymore. At the same time, he calls it the most important “a danger to a generation.” “It was as if I had no independence,” she laments. Even today, as a veiled woman, I can fight for women and against inequality and injustice.


After his fourth album, SOSReleased in 2009, Deem pulled out. She has just reappeared in the context of charitable events, as in October 2009, when she sang in Zénith on the 60th anniversary of Emmaus. At the same time, she heads the Big Up Project, an organization that works “to protect underprivileged children in Africa”. In the same year, she married her partner, Aziz, and gave birth to her daughter, Maryam, in 2012. She divorced a few months later. Ten years later, the forty-year-old seemed to have finally calmed down.

In particular, her agency Hégire Voyages launched in February 2020 to provide people “the possibility to come to perform Umrah (A form of the pilgrimage to Mecca, editor’s note) at best.” In 2015, she married former rapper Fawzi Tarkhani, and had a son named Ibrahim. “I am a miracle,” captivated her in her first interview in seven years, awarded to Pruitt and revealed on Thursday, May 26. She announced that she She found “inner peace.” In 1995, two decades ago, Melanie Georgiades chose the nickname Diam’s. She then learned that diamonds “can only be broken by another diamond, and that they are made only from natural elements.”

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