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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

French Guitarist Johann Le Ferrand Has Released 'Dunia' Featuring Malian Vocalist Salimata Traoré

French guitarist, Yohann Le Ferrand, has released "Dunia", a collaboration with Malian vocalist Salimata Traoré.

For this second single from his upcoming Yeko EP, guitarist Yohann Le Ferrand invites the magnificent Salimata “Tina” Traoré for a meditative world-pop journey. The extreme softness of her voice, supported by the lyricism of the cello, immediately charms the ear and echo the Bambara lyrics where Tina reflects on life on earth and the trials that make us grow during this brief passage.

"Dunia" is the next single from the upcoming Yeko EP, which will be released in January 2022. "Yeko" means "the way of seeing" in the Bambara language, and the project offers a series of musical portraits featuring intimate performances from some of Mali's biggest stars, orchestrated by Yohann Le Ferrand.

Since 2012, Yohann Le Ferrand has been a fixture on the Malian music scene, where he's been an in-demand guitarist, playing alongside such musical heavyweights as Rokia Traoré, Serge Aimé Coulibaly, and Tiken Jah Fakoly.

Since his beginnings in traditional Breton music, his playing has been informed by African-American aesthetics (jazz / funk) which led him on a musical journey to West Africa. Le Ferrand currently plays guitar for such artists as Kandy Guira, Mamylove Sarambé and the Kinyonga collective. The Yeko project represents nearly a decade of immersion in the music of Mali, and is a love letter to the country and its musicians.

Yeko is a series of musical portraits of different West African singers is a continuation of Yohann Le Ferrand's musical research, which brings together musicians from different backgrounds recognized for their originality around his guitar.

While the era was marked by identity withdrawal and impassable borders, the cultural mergers of “WADJÁH”, between the north and the south, were created naturally. The themes addressed through each song are borrowed from daily life in the Sahara. This singular look expresses the struggles and the hopes of the peoples, and highlights the cultural richness of these territories with international news too often marked by terrorism and poverty.

The interpreter is always the author: Africa is told by Africans, so the strong identity of each guest naturally finds its place. The creation process allows different traditional atmospheres to emerge with a Western colouring; thus intersect Kamelengoni, funky guitar gimmicks, Fulani flute, incisive brass, transcendent percussions, gospel choirs, Tuareg violins… These fraternal encounters feed on the energy of ancestral cultures while inscribing themselves in the register of contemporary music.

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