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Music makes you travel the world: Grammy-winning African singer

135 Days ago

Udaipur: Grammy Award-winning singer Dobet Gnahoré, who hails from Côte d'Ivoire and enthralled audiences on Day One of the maiden World Music Festival here, believes that multicultural events like these enable both the performers and audiences to travel to different parts of the world at a single location.





"We can travel with music to every part of the world when we listen to the music and see the new artistes. For me, a festival like this is the best. People from Udaipur can travel to other countries too. That's good for me because I meet new artistes, maybe have some collaborations," Gnahoré told IANS.



This wasn't her first time in India. Prior to her performance at the World Music Festival, Gnahoré played at the Alliance Française in Delhi a few years ago.

Dabbling in various styles of African music, Gnahoré won the Grammy in 2010 for Best Urban/Alternative Performance along with American singer India.Arie, and now she is busy writing her new album.

"I am working on a new album but it is not easy because I want to do a good job for my audiences. I am taking my time to do good music. This year, I have concerts in France, Morocco and other countries," she said.



Gnahoré sings in a range of African languages including Bété, Fon, Baoule, Lingala, Malinke, Mina and Bambara, and represents the Pan-African tradition.



But the 33-year-old says that she seeks inspiration from every culture during her travels.



"My music is inspired from Africa, but I am young and my music is very mixed. Sometimes I say Afro pop because I mix every music from Africa and when I am travelling, I am influenced from every part of the world," she said.

After her performance here, would she like to incorporate elements from Indian music too?

"I love this country and I love the music from India... The sitar, tabla and dances too. Sometime, I want to play with musician Susheela Raman. This is my dream, with me I can do maybe a collaboration with her," she added.

Gnahoré has released four studio albums "Ano Neko", "Na Afriki", "Djekpa La You" and "Na Dre."

On stage, her multifaceted singing, which also includes Zulu choirs and Congolese rumba along with other African styles, is accompanied by the melodious sounds of varied instruments like congo, bass guitar, electric guitar, drums and other percussion instruments, played by her bandmates.

The two-day World Music Festival will conclude here on Sunday with performances from Sonam Kalra & The Sufi Gospel Project, Oum, Mathias Duplessy & Mukhtiyar Ali, Papon and the East India Company among others.

(The writer's trip is at the invitation of the festival organisers. He can be contacted at ankit.s@ians. (IANS)

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