Moh Kouyaté “Mokhôya” 

December 2023 | 23/12, MUSIC

Born into a family of Guinean Griot, this singer and guitarist from Conakry was, appropriately enough, immersed in music from an early age. He first learned to play the balafon before devoting himself to string instruments, encouraged by his father and especially his grandmother, who also insisted on the importance of singing. Thanks to his musical experiences, he has enriched his traditional heritage with other influences such as blues and afro-jazz, as well as pop, rock and folk. For his third album, he opts for an acoustic sound, with Sedoufi Kouyaté’s kora, Olivier Koundouno’s cello and Camille Passeri’s trumpet. Even if the technical mastery is obvious, we’re much more on the side of sensitivity than virtuosity. Similarly, while this album cannot deny its African origins, it could almost be closer to an album by Nick Drake or Leonard Cohen than one by Toumani Diabaté, with whom Moh Kouyaté shares the Mandinka culture. Much more than an introduction to African music, this is a beautiful album that sings of humanity.