Acoustic gems from West Africa
“I think we have 72 dialects in Côte d’Ivoire,” Dobet Gnahoré told the Chicago Tribune. “When I was young, it was normal for me to hear all the different languages, but when I grew up, I saw that it was a great wealth to protect and preserve.” And Dobet is doing more than her fair share of safeguarding the cultural expression of her homeland by singing in a range of dialects and languages. She’s also thinking further afield by drawing from Congolese rumba, Ghanaian highlife and Cameroonian bukutsi, albeit all distilled through a tasteful acoustic filter. But don’t mistake gentle arrangements for benign content, nor pan-Africanism for a watered-down worldview. This is music that says something. “With a sweet melody,” Dobet insists, “the message comes across simply and reaches people more easily. The emotion remains.”
Click here to listen to Dobet Gnahoré on the Discover WOMAD 2018 playlist on Spotify.