Sayon Bamba Camara

Sayon Bamba was born in Conakry in 1976, her mother was a pharmacist, her father was a pilot, who had worked for President Sekou Touré until he was put in jail by the same president. At that time, one could be arrested for a simple suspicion, but Sayon was brought up with liberty of speech, her family never denied her right to speak up. Moreover, in a country where national languages were promoted in education, she was send to the catholic sisters to learn French, as her father often repeated "in order to say what you think of the devil, you'll have to speak his language" (cf.

After her schooling (she studied science and mathematics), Sayon follows her passion for music and performing arts. She joins the Théâtre national d'enfants, followed by a short stay with the all-women band Amazones de Guinée. The Amazones is a band of the National Gendarmerie, and Sayon didn't want to become a Gendarme, so she eventually ends up in France. She settled in Marseille, where she meets with artists from a variety of horizons. Sayon fuses traditional music from Guinea with various mediterranean sounds, and produced a first album « Chansons des rues et des maquis » in 2005.
In 2008, a new album was released, with songs about issues such as increasing poverty in Guinea, corruption and social desintegration, but there are also joyful songs: as the album title « Mod'vakance » suggests, Sayon is in "holiday mode". Both on her albums and during live shows, the originality of the songs, Sayon's energy is showing both in singing and dancing, and the fusion of various music styles are quite enjoyable.

On her following 2010 album « Dougna », she didn't lose her combativeness as she sings about children at war, about people disconnected from their culture and about female genital mutilation, still perpetrated in parts of Africa.

Sayon Bamba @ Babel Med 2006
Sayon Bamba @ Babel Med 2006

Musicians on the "Mod'vakance" album:
Sayon Bamba Camara lead vocals, percussion
Dominique Beven flute, mandoline, mandola, cornemuse
Abdoulaye Kouyaté, Pierre Fernandez guitar
Alhassane Camara « Darthagnan » bongo, djembé, calabash, bolon
Mohamed Keita « Dany » gongoma, calabash, backing vocals
Willy Le Cor kamélé n'goni, balafon, backing vocals
Guest musicians:
Riad Challoub vocals on « Sadjo »
Ibrahima Sory Diabaté balafon on « Bara »
Maestro Barry saxophone, clarinet on « Sily » and « Nemalon », flute peul on « Bara »
David Camara « Tito » vocals on « N'na », backing vocals on « N'na », « Khimouwa » and « Bara »
Aïcha Deen Magassouba backing vocals on « Salimaoré » and « Bara »
Emma Bamba backing vocals on « Salimaoré » and « Bara »
Aïcha Camara backing vocals on « N'na »
Elisabeth Camara backing vocals on « N'na » and « Bara »
Mimi Camara backing vocals on « N'na »
Sibongilé Mbambo backing vocals on « Sily »

Born: 1976, in Conakry
Style: modernised traditional music / fusion

Title Year Label Remarks
Gnogué Tömbo 2018
Disko Tek 2014 PrOMAnBO / Mistin Music Productions
Dougna 2010 Cobalt / L'Autre Distribution
Mod'vakance 2008 Cobalt 138625 / L'Autre Distribution
Chansons des rues et des maquis 2005 Self-produced album (Association Sobé)

Jeune Afrique (2008) 'Sayon Bamba, l'amazone de Conakry' [external link]
Sayon's Myspace [external link]

Page added April 2009