Throughout his lengthy musical career Guinean-born, Belgian-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist N’Faly Kouyaté has bridged the modern and the ancient, and Africa and the West: Kouyaté received a very traditional and rigorous Guinean musical education. He eventually relocated to Belgium, where he received conservatory training.
Inspired by Aretha Franklin, Harry Belafonte and a long list of others, the Guinean-born, Belgian-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has managed to collaborate with an eclectic array of acclaimed artists including Peter Gabriel, William Kentridge, Phil Manzanera, Ray 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.
The acclaimed singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist will be releasing a new album — and that album sees Kouyaté developing a new genre, Afrotonix, which mixes polyphony, electronic production and traditional African instruments like the kora, the balafon and percussion. The album’s first single “Free Water,” which features a guest spot from Tiken Jah Fakoly is a slick synthesis of the modern and traditional: modern electronic production featuring wobbling, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and traditional Guinean instrumentation paired with a vitally necessary message — water is life for all of us.
The accompanying video reminds then viewer of water’s importance to all of us — from drinking, bathing, our food and so on. But it also gives the viewer a glimpse of daily life in beautiful Guinea and scenes from the studio.
African music legends join forces to claim a political and universal message for World Water Day! This is the great comeback of N’Faly Kouyaté: collaborations with artists such as Peter Gabriel, William Kentridge, Phil Manzanera, Ray Phiri etc. have led him to create a particular path in the history of African music, precursor of a new style: Afrotonix. Very present today on the continent, it is a mixture between polyphony and electronic music, in symbiosis with traditional instruments. He also represents his group Afro Celt Sound System since 1996 and taked it to a Golden Record and two nominations for Grammy Awards. In this new track, the electro-pop sounds are accompanied by traditional instruments !