Bantunani’s Michel Nzau and ex-PBS rapper Carlou D
World Tracks meets two male singers who could break through this year with their powerful western and central African singing style. Senegalese crooner Carlou D and the Bantunani collective from Congo led by Michel Nzau, feature in a lively debate about history, politics and tradition.
Ibrahima Loucard, also known as Carlou D, is a tall, lean artist from Senegal. And he is finally breaking free from the shackles of his past with the pioneering Positive Black Soul (PBS) trio, taking his first steps into the international arena as a solo musician.
This show is a replay. Since it was first broadcast, Carlou D has brought out a new album, Musikr, which has shot into the top 10 of the World Music Charts Europe.
Carlou D came to studio 136 at RFI in Paris accompanied by his producer Dudu Sarr to reveal what has inspired his rich and melancholic music. Sarr translates what is behind a style Carlou calls “muzhikr”. This combines the word “music” with “zhikr”, an Arabic and Wolof word meaning “spirituality”.
Carlou has been selected for the Womex gathering in Copenhagen in October 2009 to showcase his talent which is demonstrated in his second solo CD, Ndèye Dior.
Another committed artist who is reinventing his country’s music is Michel Nzau - a Congolese singer who is forging a new sound called nu rumba, far from his native Kinshasa.
The feisty Michel Nzau and his Bantunani team create an infectious and danceable rhythm that does not hide their criticism of the injustices in Nzau’s native Congo.
And the bespectacled composer has not taken long to create a buzz around his rumba grooves and militant words here in Paris.
Nzau and Carlou’s artistic qualities and clear-minded engagement just might hoist them into international limelight. Their mix of traditional instruments and rhythms and urban grooves are both refreshing and thought-provoking.
Here is Daniel Brown's choice of albums played on World Tracks this month:
1) Asmara’s got soul, Asmara All Stars (Outhere), Eritrea/France. http://www.myspace.com/asmaraallstars
2) My Roots, Suzanna Owiyo (KKV), Kenya. http://mimeta.squarespace.com/mimeta-news/2010/9/8/cd-launch-my-roots-by-suzanna-owiyo.html
3) Dem Naa, Naby (Iris Music), Senegal. http://www.myspace.com/demrek
4) Cool Beats for Hot Dancers, various artists (WMD), various. http://www2.polskieradio.pl/blogi/ossowski/recenzje/artykul191414_cool_beats_for_hot_dancers___skladanka___wmd_pazdziernik_2010.html
5) Patita Salada, Edith Tamayo (Snail Records), .Mexico. http://www.myspace.com/edithtamayo.
6) Afrocubism, various artists (World Circuit), Cuba/Mali. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/album-various-artists-afrocubism-world-circuit-2102998.html
7) A la Panxa del Bou, La Troba Kung-fu (Chesapik), Spain/Catalunia. http://www.latrobakungfu.net/mosaic.html
8) i Vinens Speil, Mahsa Vahdat & SKRUK (KKV), Iran/Norway. http://www.mahsavahdat.com/internal.php?sn=news&&lang=en
9) Shukta My Hometown, Shukta (Fosim), Macedonia/Roma. http://www.soros.org.mk/default.asp?lang=eng&menuid=98
10) Aou Amwin, Danyel Waro (Cobalt), Reunion Island. http://www.keskispass.re/post/2010/07/19/Aou-Amwin,-le-nouvel-album-de-Dany%C3%A8l-Waro