Guinean singer and musician Mory Kanté died of a long illness this Friday May 22 at the age of 70 in a hospital in Conakry according to his son Balla Kanté. Nicknamed the “electric griot”, helped popularize African and Guinean music around the world, notably with its planetary hit “Yéké Yéké”.
It is especially the tube “ Yéké Yéké »Which has earned international recognition. This track released in 1987 on the album Akwaba Beach who made the whole planet dance. He was the subject countless remixes worldwide.
Mory Kanté came from a large family of Guinean and Malian griot. He had been trained from a young age to be a djali and to tell the endless epics of families in music. In 1960, he lives in Bamako and receives influences from Zairean rumba, Cuban salsa but also Anglo-Saxon pop rock. He plays balaphon, guitar and kora. He will integrate the Bamako Rail Band in 1961. The singer of this group is a certain Salif Keita.
On stages around the world
And then from Abidjan to Los Angeles, he will never stop mixing his traditional and electric music. His group of 16 musicians and 7 dancers also includes 8 nationalities.
►Also listen: SessionLab – Mory Kanté, the story of a lifetime
Mory Kanté was a real star on the continent but he had also triumphed in France (with a gold record in October 1988 and a Victoire de la Musique for the best French-speaking album) and in Europe. He performed on all the major stages in the world. His latest album The Guinean was released in 2012.
In 2012, Mory Kanté pays tribute to Guinean women, interviewed by Laurence Aloir
In 2019, in partnership with RFI Talent, he released Cock-a-doodle Doo ! A griot’s ride! , a book-disc, initiatory tale for young audiences rooted in Mandingo culture.