|Biographical detail : ||The Golden Voice of Africa.
Salif who started his singing career playing in nightclubs and at Railway stations got his breakthrough when he joined Les Ambassadeurs group and that extended his reputation, by 1977, beyond Mali. To see him perform it concert is an occasion one cannot forget.
Salif moved from Mali, due to increasing political unrest, in mid-1970 for Abidjan (the Ivory Coast) and by 1984 he relocated himself in Paris to reach a wider audience. His music blends together the traditional griot music of his Malian childhood with other West African influences from Guinea, the Ivory Coast, and Senegal, along with influences from Cuba, Spain and Portugal, and unmistakably overall Muslim sound. Besides guitar, organ and sax, Salif’s sound also includes traditional African instruments such as the kora, balafon, and djembe, often synthesised and sampled.
Salif’s album, ‘Soro’ in 1987 introduced people to “world music” – bold, brassy and bursting with energy. His voice holds a commanding vocal note over a deep underpinning blast of synthesiser and desert-like rattles of percussion.
Salif was awarded the National Order of Guinea, in 1977.
Salif Keita was born in Djoliba, Mali. He was ostracised by his family and community alike and his poor eyesight also contributed to his personal sense of alienation.