N’Faly Kouyaté is a world renowned Griot master musician and multi-instrumentalist, best known as a core member of Afro Celt Sound System, and as the “Jimi Hendrix of the Kora!” N’Faly’s solo project pioneers a new style, Afrotronix: a mixture of polyphony and electronic music in symbiosis with traditional instruments.
The strength of N’Faly Kouyaté is that he is as diversified in his creations and achievements as his talent as a multi – instrumentalist. Growing up with a very traditional and rigorous Guinean musical education, trained at the conservatory in his second homeland, Belgium, he became an outstanding and well respected artist. Collaborations with artists like Peter Gabriel, William Kentridge, Phil Manzanera and Ray Phiri, together with a plethora of influences from Aretha Franklin to Harry Belafonte, led him to forge his path to the Afrotronix style that N’faly has innovated.
N’faly is writing a new album, scheduled for release in late 2023. N’Faly Kouyaté sings of the need for water (Free Water – feat. with Tiken Jah Fakoly), the appropriation of goods (Halala), the joy and difficulty of love (Maloya), denounces the eternal problem of the domination of the weak (Premier Pas), brotherly love (Bandambé), as well as jealousy (Departure).
These electro-pop sounds are accompanied by traditional instruments: the Kora, the Balafon, the Percussion. These instruments from the Mandinka kingdom add a tribal touch to his music which makes an alliance with hyper modern instruments.
The album’s first single “Free Water,” which features a guest spot from Tiken Jah Fakoly is a slick synthesis of the modern and traditional: modern electronic production featuring wobbling, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and traditional Guinean instrumentation paired with a vitally necessary message — water is life for all of us – The Joy of Violent Movement
N’Faly Kouyate’s new album is very much a product of the global village. The singer, kora and balafon player from Guinea has had exposure to western audiences through his work with Afro Celt Sound System, and has now produced a dance-tinged album of some verve, in collaboration with Pete Ardron and Sandra Werner…a hugely enjoyable album, which brings traditional textures to bear over some very proficient programming – Fatea