N'Faly Kouyaté

N’Faly Kouyaté – The Afrotronix Project

Due to his dexterity and elegance in impassioned playing of the kora (African harp), N’Faly Kouyaté has become known as the ‘Jimi Hendrix of the kora’ and the face of Afro Celt Sound System. He has been pioneering the use of the electric kora, catapulting the instrument into the world of techno and dance music.

As one of the Afro-Celt Sound System’s front men, he achieved a Golden Record, and was twice nominated for the Grammy Awards. N’Faly Kouyate has now branched out into a new style he calls AFROTRONIX. This style is deeply rooted in African music and draws on polyphony and electronic music.

N’Faly Kouyaté, is a multi-talented artist coming from a deeply traditional background. The ‘Ambassador of the Intercultural Dialogue’ in Belgium, also nominated as ‘Talent Acoustique’ on TV5 Monde, N’Faly Kouyaté is an artist of commitment, and his music invites us to dance. His lyrics are far from frivolous, addressing subjects such as AIDS, the sale of arms, abuse of power and the change that each of us needs to make in our lives.

As the son of the famous “Konkoba” Kabinet Kouyaté from Guinea, he was traditionally brought up as a Djeli (Griot), an ambassador of the Mandingo culture. The Griot (which means in his language Mandinka ‘Blood of the Society’ because they are everywhere like the blood in the body) has been a life library, story teller, counsellor of the King and the population. You can compare his role to the Celtic bards or even a journalist in our times. Thus, he stands in line with professional musicians who have for centuries been an indispensable part of West African culture.

Konkoba is a superior grade of griots. Grade rare (there exist only about five Konkobas since the 11th century). Konkoba Kabinet acquired this grade through difficult tests and a perfect mastery of the secrets of life.

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