With a total of 19 studio albums Salif Keita could arguably be one of the most popular and successful artist to come out of Africa. Keita also known as the “golden voice of Africa” has been able to touch many with his music and build great success. The singer who was born in Djoliba, Mali has been creating hit after hit for over 4 decades and is known all around the world for his music. What makes Keita a little bit unique is the fact that he has albinism, which doesn’t restrict his world travels and musical ability at all but instead makes him stand out in the sea of artist. Keita’s music uses traditional African instruments such as the Kora as well as inspiration from European and American influences that adds a modern twist to his music. Salif Keita has been able to gain national success with his music and gain a large fan following. He’s been creating music for a very long time but always finds ways to make his sound new and interesting as North Shore News describes
Almost every track on this latest compilation album takes off musically in a different direction. “Mandjou,” written in the late ’70s while he was with Les Ambassadeurs, shows Keita at his early best. Like a true griot, he composed the tune for the president of Guinea after the politician had named him “Minister of Music and Culture.” Latin-influenced rhythms, a tight horn section and rocking band set the groove for a soaring vocal workout.
Traditionally Keita is from the Madinka tribe and with his last name being Keita and is known as a direct descendent of the founder of the Mali empire Sundiata Keita. With his status as a descendent from royalty he wasn’t expected to choose a path of music as his career because it is seen as a lower status to become a musician or whats known as a Griot. However because of his albinism he was cast out of his village because his disorder was viewed as bad luck for the community. Keita’s luck seems to be very good since he is creating new and impactful music and seems to have no plan of stopping anytime soon.
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