New Audio: N’Faly Kouyaté Returns with a Genre-Defying Banger

Throughout his lengthy career, Guinean-born, Belgian-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist N’Faly Kouyaté has had a long-held interest in bridging two distinct worlds: the ancient and the modern, and his native Africa with the West. Growing up Kouyaté received a rigorous and traditional Guinean musical education. When he relocated to Belgium, he received conservatory training.

Kouyaté has collaborated with an eclectic and diverse array of internationally acclaimed artists including Peter GabrielWilliam KentridgePhil ManzaneraRay Phiri and others. But he may be best known for his work with groundbreaking, genre-defying and Grammy Award-nominated act Afro Celt Sound System

Kouyaté’s forthcoming album sees the acclaimed Guinean-born, Belgian-based artist developing a new genre, which he has dubbed Afrotonix, which mixes polyphony, electronic production and traditional African instruments like the kora, the balafon and regional percussion. Last year, Kouyaté shared the album’s first single, “Free Water,” a slick synthesis of tweeter and woofer rocking beats and traditional Guinean instrumentation paired with a guest spot from Tiken Jah Fakoly. “Free Water” is rooted in a vitally necessary message for all of us — water is life for all of us.

The acclaimed Guinean-born artist’s latest single “Khili Kané” pairs glistening synths, dancehall -like tweeter and woofer rattling thump and glistening bursts of kora paired with big hooks. “Khili Kané” continues Kouyaté’s long-held reputation for meshing elements of contemporary production with ancient African instrumentation and the acclaimed artist’s expressive delivery. Much like its predecessor, the new single is rooted in contemporary concerns, pointing out universal truths: the song is a deeply philosophical tale about ingratitude and denigration.