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Kandia Kouyate

Although she's only released four solo albums in more than two decades, Kandia Kouyate has been hailed as one of Mali's best female vocalists. According to the New York Times, "(Kouyate) has the charisma and vocal power of the most commanding American soul singers, even though the traditional West African music she performs is only tangentially related to modern soul."

Kouyate was born to sing. Her father was a balafon player, while her mother was a vocalist from Birgo who's musical roots reflected a blend of the fula and bambara styles. As a youngster, Kouyate spent her school vacations singing with her uncle Mady Sylla Kouyate's band, the Apollos, in Bamako. The experience exposed her to the exciting dance music of Mande bands including Bemeya jazz.

While visiting her brother-in-law in the Ivory Coast in 1980, Kouyate was approached by a record producer who agreed to finance her debut recording. Attributed to Kandia Kouyate & the Ensemble Instrumental, Kouyate was actually accompanied on the album by relatives including Kisima Diabate (guitar), Loutigi Diabate (balafon), Amara Sacko (kora), and Ali Barry (flute).

In 1983, Kouyate accepted an invitation to perform a series of concerts in Paris. She stayed in the French city for a year.

A turning point in Kouyate's career came when she was featured on a track, "Kounadi La Beno," on the Sidiki Diabate Ensemble album Ba Togoma. The track was later reissued on the World Network compilation The Divas From Mali. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Wow wow wo. Nice song
Love it
Live it
A blend of music,wisdom and teachings.
kwesisq
What a singer! I can listen to her all day and not get tired. A true blessing...
gr8 songs and voice, am loving it....
Bundu Los Angeless
aaron.young5
Very powerful and flavorful.
que Dieu la benisse et a belle voix. La reine de la musique Malienne
dkarisa
great voice - love it...
merah101
wow, what a beautiful voice !!!
I love it
A k'a nyi kosebe kosebe! Sho-nuff! Sho-nuff!
robin.lattin
this is simply beautiful
her sound makes me want to make music

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