Monday, November 7, 2016

Preservation: Habib Koité and Bamada with "Sin Djen Djen"

Senegalese singer, guitarist and songwriter Habib Koité brings us our song today. Habib Koité is based in Mali and his band, Bamada, is a West African supergroup made up of many well-known musicians. Koité tunes his guitar to a pentatonic scale and plays it on open strings, much like the one would play the African ngoni. His music can be reminiscent of both blues and flamenco, two styles he has picked up in his musical career. He also has an intimate and relaxed vocal style that makes his music sound calm and even moody. Born to musician parents, he learned how to play by watching and listening. After graduation from the Bamako Institute of the Arts, he formed Bamada in 1988. He began touring outside of Africa in 1994, and his music got a huge boost when three of his songs were included with the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system. He has released eight albums - his latest came out in 2014. This song, Sin Djen Djen, is from his 2001 CD Baro. The song celebrates Mali's musicians and efforts to preserve Mali's music for younger generations.