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KORA artists (part 2)

Artslink.co.za
08/02/1999 00:00:00


Artslink.co.za News MOST PROMISING FEMALE ARTIST
 
Chiwoniso
Zimbabwean born Chiwoniso first entered the musical arena at age four and went on to play and record with her father's marimba band, Dumi and Minanzi III. This introduction to music set Chi (a nickname for Chiwoniso) on a musical path through free-style rapping and beatboxing to the fusion of traditional and electrical instruments with the dynamic hybrid music of Andy Brown and The Storm.
After achieving critical acclaim with The Storm, Chi continued her musical education academically allowing herself to strengthen and mature as a vocalist, percussionist and mbira player.
Chiwoniso released her first solo CD "Ancient Voices" in November 1998 and has to date received the "Decouverte Afrique 98" awarded by Radio France International (RFI) as well as the Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres awarded by the French Government. Chiwoniso rises from the throng of talented African artists as a new star for a new age.
 
Ramata Diakite
Ramata Diakite was born in the Wassoulou region of southern Mali. Nobody in her immediate family sang, and they did not imagine for a moment that Ramata could become a singer. But when she was about twelve Ramata started humming to herself in secret using a gourd to accompany herself. Djeneba Diakite, an aunt, asked her to sing backing vocals on her album. It was the start of a musical career, even though her parents frowned at the idea.
In December 1995, she recorded her first album, a bestseller in Mali. She gave many concerts and took part, along with Salif Keita, in a Mali evening at the Cite de la Musique in Paris in October 1997.
"Na" is her second album recorded in Bamako's Studio Bogolan with the help of Yves Wernert.
 
Chantal Ayissi
Born in Yaounde (Cameroon), she started her artistic life early at the age of 13, with folkloric groups. Very soon she was requested to perform worldwide (France, Germany, USA,), for the OAU, presidential festivities and various African and European festivals.
During 1987, the empress of the Cameroon song left the ballet to embrace a full time career as a singer. She recorded her first album "Africa" in 1991. The second album "Yit - ma", was a real success in 1994. Her third album - "Diva" was recorded in Paris in 1996 and the latest "Pretty Diva" in 1998. The is latest album has catapulted her to fame.
 
Dulce Mathias
Dulce Mathias is originally from Cape Verde and is perhaps the most authentic and talented of a family of musicians, who originated from Salamansa, a small village protected by dunes.
A mixture of harmony, color and charm: all in a voice. Dulce Mathias unanimously possesses the perfect combination of a star. A real star, a remarkable person, so generous in her art. Her musician uncle guides her while her little sister sings background vocals. The family has music in it soul.
Her album "Reservode" is a remarkable work that will probably meet worldwide approval.
 
Coumba Gawlo
Aged only 25, the Senegalese star with an entrancing voice, has already been on the job for 18. Her single "Pata Pata" - a new version of Myriam Makeba's song, revised and corrected with African tunes in the background - was released in France last year..
The founder of an association for childhood and the ‘godmother' of a children's hospital, she is known for her humanitarian actions and voluntary concerns in aid of children - to the point of being called "The Children's star".
Coumba Gawlo remains resolutely "African", faithful to cultural roots she calls her "landmarks" and to an identity which she still considers as her greatest richness.
 
Mawa Traore
Mawa Traore started her musical career at the early age of 15. Using the rhythms of Yagba, learnt from her Aunt Camara Matiangue, Mawa has become the idol of traditional and modern dance of Yagba. As a composer she has recorded two albums with the first released in 1995.
 

MOST PROMISING MALE ARTIST
 
Abdoulaye Diabate
Abdoulaye Diabate comes from the Segou region of Mali where he was born in 1952. In 1975, at short notice, he replaced the singer of ‘Koule Star de Koutiala', and so began a career which has so far produced four albums and led to his being named Best Malian Artist of 1994.
Son of Baba Diabate - traditional chief of the Diabate griots of Segou, Abdoulaye advises more than he sings, he tells the history, always reminds the listeners of virtue, a sense of work, tolerance and social moral.
In 1995, the release of his first album dissociated him from traditional music. But his new album titled "Bende" will reconcile him with it. While keeping his style, he uses traditional instruments such as the balafon, the djembe, the karigan, the tamani, the n'goni, the Bara and the flute.
 
Boy Marone
 
Jolino
 
Axel Govinda
Axel Govinda alias Brou Assamoi Patrick, just like the youngsters of his age, is during the years 1988-1991, touched by the Jacksonmania, awaking then the musical spirit which was sleeping inside him from his birth. He will choose his style and work a lot. Axel is gear to make use of his talents in order to mark the art history of his time.
From 1991 tp 1997, he performed in galas, shows, piano-bars, etc.. through interpretations.
Between 1997 and 1998 he is invited by Sawaya, a Producer, Artistic Director and Radio Animator to "Concert-Decouverte", which will lead to the record of his first album produced by the Animator himself.
 
Mr. Mike and the Oyindu Afrobeat
Mr. Mike alias Mike Omoluther is a Nigerian-born artist based in the Scandinavian City of Stockholm in Sweden. He started his musical career at the tender age of 17 as a gospel singer.
Mr. Mike's kind of music is called Oyindu Afrobeat - the genre of music that has its root in Africa, and is thus devoted to the propagation of African culture heritage. This however is reflected in his lyrics, costumes, choreography and musical instruments most of which are predominantly of African origin.
The Band is known as Oyindu Afrobeat Band and it is made up mostly of white people. Though, he has about four gospel albums to his credit, his first major secular album titled "Unification" is currently making waves in Africa, Asia, Europe and America.
 
Jeff Maluleke and Hagonya
Jeff's passion for music started when he was at school in Bushbuckridge and has found its expression in impromptu performances of his favourite cover version, for diners in the school-dining hall. It was also at this stage that he met Pat Dubazane, a student of the guitar, and like Jeff, a passion musician.
About the debut album "That's the way", Jeff had the following to say: "Underneath the sadness in this album lies a message of hope. If you cannot find it in the lyrics then you will it in the music. I have tried to present African Music in a form that will make it accessible to all and hopefully bring people to realize that it is not only for Africans, but for the world to enjoy".
 

BEST ARRANGER
 
Bisso Na Bisso
In Congolese, it means «Between us», Bisso na Bisso is in fact more than just a group. One real tribe reunited by Passi with the clear intention to blend hip-hop and African music.
It works out very well. One will dance the Zairian rumba and next wriggle on the sound of Soukouss and be rocked by the rhythm of zouk.
This album is about party music, the one you celebrate while having pins and needles in your legs and some ti-punch in your head, another product of an un-weary band.
 
Egyptian Nursery
Take a musical whizz from North England, add a Mauritian with a voice swathed in honey and a Congolese rapper whose tongue moves languages into new forms and you have unquestioningly the most exciting group working in contemporary South Africa. That group is "Egyptian Nursery" and its debut album, "New Anthem" is destined to set worldwide standards of both production and musical ingenuity.
Egyptian Nursery is Craigie, Ariane and Mojama. Craigie (originally from Newcastle Upon Tyne in England) and Ariane met one night in July 1995 and, in an indication of how instantly these two creative forces gelled, wrote and recorded their first song before the sun had peeped over Johannesburg's skyline the next morning. "We think it was called Vision", Ariane says, with a smile.
 
Amadou and Mariam
In the Sixties, in Bamako, Mali, a young girl of six used to appear at local festivals by popular demand. On the other side of the railroad tracks, three streets away, a ten year old boy played the tam-tam, the flute and the harmonica like a virtuoso. Neither knew the other existed, they never saw each other, and yet they are married - together they had children, and invented music. Some paths are chosen by destiny, and this is one of them, the road of a duo, and a couple: Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia, the blind couple of Mali.
If proof be needed, Amadou and Mariam show there is no need to see the world in order to feel it; close your eyes, listen, and you will see.
 
Soweto String Quartet
When they turned professional in 1992, they were forced to work at the then notorious Sun City, but thankfully South Africa was already undergoing dramatic changes.
Beside all their performances on the national and international scenes, they have also recorded two albums for BMG Africa, - Zebra Crossing and Renaissance, showcasing their unique blend of traditional rhythms, jazz, and pop songs.
The last few years have seen the SSQ perform around the world as musical ambassadors for the new South Africa.
 
Ifang Bondi
Badou Jobe is one of the key figures in the development of contemporary West African music, not only as the founder, member and bandleader of the group Ifang Bondi, but in particular also as a composer/arranger of authentic West African music.
The members of Ifang Bondi have been recruited among the most talented young musicians of the Gambia and Senegal, featuring for instance the formidable leadsinger El Hadj Samb and the kora master Jali Momodou Suso, while Jobe himself is considered to be one of the best African bass players.
In terms of composition, he is acclaimed for the sophisticated blend of the traditional music idiom with his personal artistic concept.
 
Kandia Kouyate
Kita Kan is a mandingue phrase meaning "The voice of Kita". In fact Kandia Kouyate is much more than that. While still young, she already had an exceptional talent as artist. Eventhough her father had other project for her, and due to her fate she is today consider as the greatest singer of Mali alive.
 

BEST VIDEO CLIP (DIRECTOR)
 
Bisso Na Bisso
In Congolese, it means «Between us», Bisso na Bisso is in fact more than just a group. One real tribe reunited by Passi with the clear intention to blend hip-hop and African music.
It works out very well. One will dance the Zairian rumba and next wriggle on the sound of Soukouss and be rocked by the rhythm of zouk.
This album is about party music, the one you celebrate while having pins and needles in your legs and some ti-punch in your head, another product of an un-weary band.
 
Trybe
Trybe is here to add a unique flavor to the music scene. Their debut album Diba Diba is already kicking up a storm on the dance floor and busting the national chart. The group is gear to storm the marketplace with their vibrant and lively music.
Diba Diba is a hotchpotch of rap, reggae, kwaito, and house to cater for all tastes and interest. "It is an electric mix intended to serve a diversity of music lovers" as per one member of the group.
Trybe comprises four dynamic blokes: Isaac "Wacko Jacko" Diloro, Reason "Skinny Bwoy" Sithole, Mbulelo "Spencer" Mato and William "Shakespear" Vukeya. They met in January 1998 and fireworks have been exploding since they bounced on the music scene.
 
Amadou and Mariam
In the Sixties, in Bamako, Mali, a young girl of six used to appear at local festivals by popular demand. On the other side of the railroad tracks, three streets away, a ten year old boy played the tam-tam, the flute and the harmonica like a virtuoso. Neither knew the other existed, they never saw each other, and yet they are married - together they had children, and invented music. Some paths are chosen by destiny, and this is one of them, the road of a duo, and a couple: Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia, the blind couple of Mali.
If proof be needed, Amadou and Mariam show there is no need to see the world in order to feel it; close your eyes, listen, and you will see.
 
Egyptian Nursery
Take a musical whizz from North England, add a Mauritian with a voice swathed in honey and a Congolese rapper whose tongue moves languages into new forms and you have unquestioningly the most exciting group working in contemporary South Africa. That group is "Egyptian Nursery" and its debut album, "New Anthem" is destined to set worldwide standards of both production and musical ingenuity.
Egyptian Nursery is Craigie, Ariane and Mojama. Craigie (originally from Newcastle Upon Tyne in England) and Ariane met one night in July 1995 and, in an indication of how instantly these two creative forces gelled, wrote and recorded their first song before the sun had peeped over Johannesburg's skyline the next morning. "We think it was called Vision", Ariane says, with a smile.
 
Boom Shaka
Boom Shaka, made up of Junior Sokhela (25), Lebo Mathosa (21), Thembi Seete (21) and Theo Nhlengethwa (22), have been labelled as the "Custodians of the energy that emanates from township culture" as they have carved not just a place but a substantial space in the annals of South African lore.
Boom Shaka are one of the hardest working groups in the country, having been known to perform in Mmabatho in the afternoon, Pretoria in the evening and Mbabane (Swaziland) after midnight. Fully together and organized, this energy filled crew are constantly preparing for the challenges ahead and are reliably regarded as being South Africa's best kept entertainment export secret.
 
Papa Wemba
Born in Lubefu - Ex Zaire in 1949, Papa Wemba alias Shungu Wembadio is passionate by music since his very early age and he was named the "Little Rossignol". He exerted himself on his fine voice at the Catholic Church and became famous in his neighborhood. He was already impressing through his voice just like Otis Reading, his idol.
In 1966, after the death of his father, he embraced the musical career. Kinshasa was then rocked by the latest rhythms of classic rumba and a new generation of musicians was about to appear. Since then he had success after success.

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