We here at Afropop are pleased to bring you the first single from the late singer/guitarist Tiécoro Sissoko’s upcoming album out on KSK Records. With “Keme Borama,” Sissoko showcases his formidable skills as a Griot singer and musician.
Hailing from the Kayes region of Mali, Tiécoro Sissoko was born into a large family of musicians. The son of the chief Griot of his village, he continued the tradition of regional storyteller, praise singer and historian until his death. The title track sings the praises of Keme Borama (Bourama), the brother of Samory Touré, noted 19th century warlord who fought against the French occupation of Guinea.
The album features the djeli n’goni of Adama Tounkara, and Madouba Camara on kora, both skilled musicians in their own right. Together, these deft yet delicate strings provide the backdrop for Sissoko’s powerful and ornamental vocals and guitar lines. Decidedly not Afropop, this music honors and continues the rich traditions of the Kayes region of Mali. Be sure to check out this video of Tiécoro performing from KSK Records. (Bonus: English subtitles for those who don’t speak Bambara!)
A true Griot, Tiécoro Sissoko performed for weddings and ceremonies until the end. Sadly, he passed away at age 66 in May of 2012 before the release of this, his only album. Look for it on Feb. 4th.