world music / african music
In the run-up to the Olympic games in the British capital, Malian singer Rokia Traoré is set to feature at the Barbican Centre for three nights performing creations specially devised for the event. RFI Musique met up with the singer.
Straddling pop, French easy listening and world music, Daby Touré’s songs are a soothing balm for the soul. Lang(u)age is an intimate musical rendition of personal memories and multiple identities.
Mory Kanté, who is in his sixties, has created an album filled with empathy for his fellow-countrywomen in his latest release, La Guinéenne. In 1987, he showcased his ability with Yeke Yeke, the album where he made his indisputable mark on African music. An interview.
When the Guinean Djeli Moussa Condé moved to Paris he set up home in Ménilmontant. In the heart of this working-class neighbourhood, the kora player dreamed up a world-style album with the help of percussionist, arranger and producer Vincent Lassalle.
The Malian twosome Amadou & Mariam are back with a new album, Folila. With its roots firmly planted in Mali, the collection takes added inspiration from some of the couple’s international alliances, and in particular Français Bertrand Cantat.
Music from Chad
One of the few Chadian artists to be making a name for herself on the international scene, singer Mounira Mitchala has paved the way for the next step with Chili Houritki, five years after winning the RFI Découvertes music award.
The singer from northern Mali, Khaira Arby, has a status on a level with Oumou Sangaré in her homeland. Despite a keen following in the United States, in France she remains largely unknown. Not for long though, since she is scheduled to perform at the Babel Med Festival in Marseille at the end of March.
More than twenty years after Mali’s artistic and cultural biennales hit the dust, we salute one of their most brilliant offspring: Super Biton de Ségou, decreed best band from 1970 to 1976. Still active, Super Biton continues to be the pride and joy of its hometown. RFI Musique met up with bandleader and eminent guitarist, Mama Cissoko.
Gathering 30,000 festival-goers over five days, the Festival sur le Niger, which has just run from 14 to 19 February, is a popular Malian event that places the town of Ségou on the country’s cultural map and puts the focus on local music.
Jonathan Ward is not your regular vinyl record collector. During the day he works as an archivist, but his real passion is collecting 78s of African traditional and folk music recorded in the first half of the 20th century. The four-CD compilation he’s just released, entitled Opika Pende, or “be strong” in Lingala, brings some incredible artists and fascinating musical forms back to life.