Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Hippo's Grief: Kassé Mady Diabaté and "Sadjo"

Today's random song is by Kassé Mady Diabaté, a singer from Mali descended from the Malian griot musical caste. Realizing that Kassé Mady may have inherited his family's musical prowess, His parents schooled and encouraged him. As lead singer of the Orchestre Régional Super Mandé de Kangaba, Kassé Mady won the Biennale music competition in the Malian capital of Bamako. He caught the eye of a group of Malian musicians who had gone to Cuba to study music - they asked him to join their group as lead singer. The group, the Maravillas, later known as the Bandema National, became famous throughout West Africa due to their music...Cuban style music with a touch of Malian Mandingo. In 1988 he left Mali for Paris and recorded his first solo record - he spent ten years there before moving back to Mali and made influential albums in collaboration with other artists such as flamenco group Ketama, blues artist Taj Mahal and Toumani Diabaté. This song, Sadjo, can be found on his 2015 album Kiriké. The song is a poignant and seemingly true account of a mother hippopotamus that spent months searching for her child that had been killed by a hunter. The villagers in the area came to know the hippo and realized that they could relate to her unending devotion for her lost offspring.