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KOUYATE Lao - Pourquoi tout ça?
Pourquoi tout ça?

Fy 8099
World Music

Dunya Records
1 CD

A new generation of artists is now emerging on the music scene, revealing an enormous well of as yet untapped talent on the African continent. In their thirties, they’ve already made their mark in their own country, having mastered the local traditions and honed their instrumental skills whether self-taught or under the tutelage of top native musicians. However the problems of earning a living as a musician in a market flooded with pirated recordings, together with the more general difficulties the continent faces has constrained many musicians to find other sources of income or else to emigrate. The personal and artistic career of LAO KOUYATE fits this pattern precisely and its related pluses and minuses. For though it takes great strength of character and fortitude to confront the many obstacles thrown in an African musician’s path, overcoming such obstacles can only enhance the musician’s worth by making him more aware of his gift and giving him the ability to express it fully. Senegalese artist LAO KOUYATE had the great fortune to be born and raised in a family of griots. Faithful to the obligations that come with being a member of this particular caste, he inevitably began learning the tradition’s main instrument, the kora, performing from a young age at community festivities. A subsequent move to Dakar opened new horizons to LAO offering him the chance to hear and play alongside the country’s most esteemed and important artists and to familiarize himself with musical styles and genres imported from the European music scene which he began to frequent in 2000, participating in a number of festivals that brought him into contact with groups and musicians from other climes, leading to fruitful collaborations with Mau Mau, Canto Discanto and Sainkho Namtchylak, among others. Aside from making his kora sing, on this CD LAO KOUYATE gives free rein to his poetic talents. The tracks’ lyrics are pervade by a winning lyricism that touches not only on timeless universal themes such as love and friendship but also on the trials of everyday life, which here range from the emigrant’s pain on having to leave his family to the fickle ways of the music scene (Bi Bo). There’s also space for a heartfelt plea for an end to all wars so people can come together in peace to sing and dance.

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Lao Kouyate kora

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