Mory Kante, Guinea music star and ‘baobab of tradition’, dies at 70 | Guinea Information
Guinean singer Mory Kante, who helped introduce African music to a world viewers within the 1980s, has died within the capital Conakry, his household mentioned. He was 70.
“Guinea and the entire world have misplaced an important character,” Kante’s son Balla Kante advised The Related Press on Friday. “My father was an important character. We misplaced a big library in the present day.”
Balla mentioned his father had not been feeling properly for fairly a while, including that he shall be examined for COVID-19.
Kante is finest identified for his dance tune Yeke Yeke, which was an enormous hit in Africa earlier than changing into a number-one hit in a number of European nations in 1988.
Nicknamed the “digital griot” – a play on the title for conventional West African musicians and storytellers – Kante died in hospital after succumbing to untreated well being issues.
I really feel an enormous void in the present day with the departure of this baobab of African Tradition. Relaxation in peace.
Youssou N’Dour, Senegalese musician
‘African tradition in mourning’
Born right into a celebrated household of griots, Kante performed guitar, the kora harp and balafon, along with being a singer.
Together with the music of Mali’s star singer, Salif Keita, his songs have been among the many first from West Africa to realize widespread success elsewhere of the world.
Kante spent a lot of his youth in Mali, which neighbours his native Guinea, the place within the early 1970s he joined the famend Rail Band during which Keita was additionally singer.
Leaving the band within the 1980s, Kante revolutionised the West African repertoire by going electrical and mixing conventional Mandingo music with city grooves.
It was his upbeat single Yeke Yeke that catapulted him to fame, and introduced Mandingo dance music to nightclubs throughout Europe.
The album on which the tune was included, Akwaba Seashore, later went on to turn into one of many best-selling data in sub-Saharan historical past.
Kante moved away from his electrical sound throughout a lull in recognition through the 2000s, choosing accompaniment from extra conventional string orchestras.
His 2010 album La Guineenne – his first in eight years on the time – drew on the large-orchestra sound from West African music’s golden age, within the years following independence from former colonial energy France.
In addition to making music, Kante additionally used his affect for social causes.
He was a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations’ Meals and Agriculture Group (FAO) and sang in help of the battle in opposition to the 2013-2016 Ebola epidemic in Guinea, which killed some 2,500 individuals.
On Friday, Guinean President Alpha Conde tweeted Kante had been “distinctive” and “a supply of pleasure”.
“African tradition is in mourning,” he mentioned.
Senegalese musician Youssou N’Dour mentioned he was dismayed by such an important loss.
“I really feel an enormous void in the present day with the departure of this baobab of African Tradition. Relaxation in peace,” he wrote on his Twitter account.