Maciré Sylla is a citizen of the capital of Guinea, a
country who has the oldest post colonial musical heritage and influenced much
of other West Africans neighbours since it independence in 1960. While being
born in Conakry, Maciré spend several years of her childhood with her
grandparents in the countryside. Her grandmother taught her the old songs
giving her traditional roots and a musical legacy.
At a tender age, she entered the Soleil dAfrique ballet
and became after a few years, solo singer and dancer. She then joined the
live line up of Fatala, the Guinean band who recorded for Peter Gabriels
Real World label. Several tours in Europe and North America made Maciré
feel that time had come to realize her own dreams and to pursue her own career
which she did with a first album called Mariama
in 1997. The success in Guinea led her to record this new album for TRACE/COD.
It enjoyed even greater success thanks to the ballad LAmour Est
Sorcier which was a national hit.
In Guinea, most of the singers are of the griots-cast who use
the Malenke language. By giving a modern treatment to music and lyrics of
Soussou origin, this non-griots of Basse-Côte enjoys an
astonishing success in her country. Being herself from both side of the social
spectrum, the city and the countryside, her aim is to make a fusion of those
Irafama contains ten songs of modern Afro-pop music. Its very
dance oriented like most of African music. Voices, flute and drums are the
driving forces behind this album. The typical voice of Maciré is a
bridge between Soussou tradition and modernity. Everything on the album
has been played live. Mat Callahan, our mixer, just restructured some parts.
His main contribution was to clean our takes which sometimes where very live
oriented, with many instruments playing at the same time, guitars, keyboards,
The songs deserved the treatment I guess. We are very proud of having
the chance to work with somebody who honours our compositions by going down
to the basic melodies and putting them in front.
These songs are influenced by the traditional tunes of the villages.
Maciré and her musical partner Cédric Asséo, gave her
music a modern direction, in order to cope with their desires not to be locked
into tradition only. I like Mandingo guitars very much, but for Darirono,
we wanted the contrast of a rock solo. You always have to put things in perspective
in order to see them more clearly.
" Frais et pétillant " Afrobiz/F
" Sylla is a potent, emotional frontwoman in the belting
of Aretha Franklin " Newark Star-Ledger/USA
" Maya Irafama uses both African and European musicians
in the band, and at a guess thats one of the reasons everything fires
on all cylinders Everybodys is doing what theyre good at
and comes naturally " fRoots/GB