Monday, October 24, 2011

Le Guess Who? introduces part 17: Art Melody

Get ready for Zound Zande, Art Melody's radically creative second album, ‘cos it’s like nothing you’ve heard before. The first thing that strikes you is the Burkinabe’s distinctive and amazing raucous voice as he flings the words at you in Mooré and Dioula (with a sprinkling of French). The sheer force shakes you up both mentally and musically, as his powerful vocals pummel, flow and bounce on a fusion of the most contemporary and traditional sounds and rhythms.

After some hard times in the Francophone West African country of Burkina Faso, which forced him to leave for Ivory Coast, and then go through immigration hell in a failed bid to settle in France, Art Melody met a couple of young filmmakers from Bordeaux who decided to shoot a portrait of the rapper explaining what rap means to him – it’s his life - and his definition of rap.

This inspired them to create tentacul records and produce the eponymous explosive 2009 album, the first single from which was the impressive To Biiga (which means ‘Someone else’s child’). This productive partnership launched Art Melody onto the some of the best stages in Burkina Faso, allowed him to embark on the recording of a second album, and tour France in May/June 2010 with Ben Sharpa and top French acts like La Rumeur and Watcha Clan.

The album is woven through with political interludes. It includes, for instance, an excerpt from a speech originally delivered on the independence of Burkina Faso (in Hot Volta), and another extract (in the beautiful track Sankara) from a speech by the late Thomas Sankara, ex-president, in which this hero of Burkina Faso’s revolution explains why it’s impossible for a colonised country, or for any individual in such a country, to find any sort of balance or stability if the country cooperates with the colonial power.


Zound Zandé was produced by Tentaculrecords and Banzaï Lab and released in March this year. Listen to some songs below and watch his newest video 'Bayir Nooma'. Art Melody will be perfoming at Le Guess Who? 2011 on Thursday November 24th. Get your tickets here!

Latest tracks by ART MELODY

ART MELODY - BAYIR NOOMA - (prod.Redrum) from artmelody on Vimeo.

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