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Badgers Den Records

Tidiane Thiam - Africa Yontii

Tidiane Thiam - Africa Yontii

Regular price $60.00 NZD
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Tidiane Thiam - Africa Yontii

“It’s time. Africa, it’s time. It’s time that Africa changes. It’s time our leaders change. Everything that happens in Africa is extraordinary. We have everything: water, earth, sun, fields of oil, gas. We have all this in Africa, but Africa is still poor. It’s time we change our way of thinking. It’s time for Africans to take their destiny into their own hands. If not, others will take it.”

This is the message instrumental guitarist Tidiane Thiam hopes to convey with his new solo album, Africa Yontii, a Pulaar title that translates to “Africa, It's Time.”

To a casual listener, Thiam’s bold statement starkly contrasts with his melodic playing. But a closer listen to Thiam’s expressive playing reveals a thoughtful voice that stands out from the crop of contemporary guitarists. “What I should be singing (with words) I’m instead saying with my guitar,” he says.

Hailing from the sleepy fishing Senegalese fishing town of Podor, home of the great Baaba Maal, Thiam taught himself guitar by playing along to late-night radio broadcasts of Manding music. He soon developed his style, often reworking Pulaar folk themes into his compositions. On Africa Yontii, Thiam’s third album for Sahel Sounds, he teamed up with hip-hop beat maker Ndiaye Moctar from studio M.N. Records to provide accompaniment, integrating unexpected elements such as field recordings and electronic sounds.

In the liner notes for Africa Yontii, Thiam voices his concerns about the lack of opportunities for Africa’s youth and the lonely road that can come with leaving behind loved ones in the hope of a better life. He also sprinkles in a philosophical query about the eroding state of the world alongside two more hopeful, traditional offerings in the form of wedding and river songs. Despite the sometimes heavy subject matter, Thiam’s love for his homeland and heritage shines through.

Tidiane Thiam's Africa Yontii reclaims the maligned “world music” genre within a sonic space that has long been dominated by others telling the story. As the title suggests - It’s time!

Side A:
Dannibe Pinne
Neene Africa

Side B:
Oo Duna
Podor Douera Gasba

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