“Innovative” might be the best word when describing Malian musician Andra Kouyaté’s approach to music. Coming from a highly respected griot family (which includes older brother and n’goni master Bassekou), Kouyaté is an inventor of instruments, and musician who isn’t afraid to take the traditional musical foundations and push them into new, contemporary arenas.
Take “Aye Anfle,” a song off his forthcoming, international debut with Sèkè Chi, Saro. Cycling through, the track offers a seamless mix of n’goni and kora meeting funky guitar and wailing solos along with a transfixing vocal chorus. It’s a fascinatingly gorgeous offering that strikes a well-crafted balance between the traditional and the modern.
Saro comes out on July 31st and features the contributions by Amadou and Mariam; his wife and local star Mah Bara Soumano, older brother Bassekou Kouyaté, respected Malian singer Ami Sacko, Harouna Samake the kamele n’goni player for Salif Keita and by balafon whiz Lassana Diabaté of the Grammy-winning project AfroCubism.
Sounds like this album is going to be something special. Stay tuned for a full review. Until then, download “Aye Anfle” below: