I saw Toumani Diabate performing with his son Sidiki at Roskilde last summer. A wonderful gig: marvellous to see father and son playing so intuitively well together.
Toumani joked about how his son was far more popular back home. Sidiki’s day job is as a hip hop musician and he and his crew can sell out football stadiums in Mali. Among the youth, Diabate Senior’s music is seen as rather stuffy and old-fashioned.
There’s been a lot of love on the AW for African music in the past few days. Some fabulous tracks have been posted.
But a question that might be asked is: how much of this is music that Africans themselves are listening to?
I’ve posted an article from the Grauniad that asks this question.
I’m not for a second suggesting that Toumani, Miriam Makeba, Cesaria Evora etc are not wonderful musicians that are popular in their home countries. But they probably are not what is being played on the dancefloors.
On my one visit to Brazil I went to a disco on Copacabana that was frequented by the locals. No tourist traps for me! Which artist got the biggest response?
Lionel Bloody Ritchie!