N° 77
August 16, 2004


"We don’t envy anything to the others in matters of rap"
Amkoullel, the "handsome man" or the Fulani child of the Malian rap was back to the fold last month. Before flying for France where he leaved for almost one year, he told us the reason of this two weeks stay and his aspirations and projects.

Mag: What is the reason for your stay?
I returned to the fold to renew contact with my fans. And I did it through a show which took place on July 16 at Luna Park. For the circumstance, I had called all my friends of Bamako.
- You also arrived with a new album, "Mali-Fransi". Can you present us this baby?
It’s a mixtape. It’s neither an album solo nor a compilation. It’s a new concept. This album is the fruit of a collaboration with the hip hop environment in Paris "Mali-Fransi" is an opus composed of remixed songs and new creations of rappers of several nationalities, based in France.
- What justified this experiment?
Amkoullel: it’s Zemtsov, the team with which I work in Paris. They helped me to carry out this new experiment. They also helped me for my maxi which must be released in Europe. On Mali-Fransi, we joined together ten rappers including seven Malians. I was motivated by the fact that it’s a kind of collaboration; a form of artistic twinning between Mali and France. It’s also a manner to show to the Malians that we don’t have anything to envy what is done in France even in Europe as matters of rap. Generally, it’s the means of promotion and distribution that are missing to us.
- Concerning collaboration, you made the first part of certain celebrities like Cheick Tidiane Seck. What did this brought you as experience?
Amkoullel: Cheick Tidiane Seck is a Master in music. I learn a lot with him on scene. We have different genders, but the essence of music is universal. Cheick plays Mande groove and jazz based on modernised traditional music. He had made three featuring with King Lassy Massassy. As he moves a lot, I accompany him for a certain time to ensure the first part of his spectacles. This allowed me to meet people like Manu Dibango, to share the scene with Saly Nyolo, Keziah Johns, Lassana, Moriba Diabaté and a lot of other artists or instrumentalists. I was with the elders and all I could do was to learn.
- One year ago, you left us to undertake studies of sound engineer in France. Where have you got to with these studies?
: Finally, I was not been able to study because that was extremely expensive. The least expensive school and the least referred costs 3,5 million F CFA per annum. And I need four years of study without counting my daily expenditure. I thus preferred to concentrate on my work of author interpreter which allows me to keep close to sound engineers regularly. That offers me the opportunity to learn at work.
- Do you have immediate projects?
: I have a lot of thing at the head. But, I don’t like speaking about the things which are not concrete yet. You can be sure that I’m trying to restructure the hip hop on my level. Because, in Mali, this industry is still at the antiquated stage. And even if Mali K7 makes considerable efforts, there are no well organized networks of distribution of rap products at a time when that is essential for our promotion.
- The word of the end?
: I will not cease saying: Stop to Pirates. To the music lovers I say: do not buy pirated products at the risk of compromising the career of your artists and condemning them to misery. Let us be especially human and love each others.
Remarks collected by
King Moseto

Boncana has a baby with Kamaldine
It was known that the maestro, Boncana Maïga, and his protégée Mama Aïssata Kamaldine got on wonderfully. But rare are those who knew that this complicity was prolonged in the cabins sheltered from the prying eyes. The turtle-doves have an easy time of it in the arms of each other. Result! A baby. This time, it is not question of an album but of a young girl born last April in the United States and whose parents are Kamaldine and Boncana. One then understands why the maestro had become the odd-job man the young Guinean woman whom he revealed to the public and imposed in the international show biz with her successful hit, "Madada". Better, it is clear that the maestro is not only a fabulous arranger, but also a perfect seducer with an irresistible charm. In any case the beautiful Kamaldine succumbed so much that she had a baby with him! Well done maestro. Long and happy life to our daughter! (Source: magazine Podium of Guinea).

The most popular Beninese artist of the world music, Gnonas Pedro who has been for a few days between life and death finally died. Our Beninese gentlemen who stopped his solo career to join the band Africando was a militant of peace, solidarity and friendship between the people. According to information, the Beninese government engaged to take all the expenses related to his hospitalization. The Mag, the personnel of Mali k7 offer their condolences to his family and to the group Africando.

The Site Tata Pound on line
www.tatapound.com is the site of the band Tata pound. It has just been put on line. All that you want to know about Tata pound is available on it: the Biography of the group, the discography, the news, and you can also dialogue with them.

Back to the fold
As we announced in our preceding editions, Desert Blues has just observed a pause after a long tour of two months through Europe and America which had a phenomenal success. According to Michel De Bock, one of the organiser of this creation, "the objective is reached because it was not to make money with 24 people on tour, it was rather done to show the other slope of the musical richness in Mali" he explains. The Artists are back to the fold and intend to develop the project.