Fodé Kouyaté (1958-1997)

Fodé Kouyaté was an innovating griot and kora-player, trying to bridge tradition and modernity. After having won the prestigious price RFI Prix Découverte in 1991, he recorded the high-tech album « Anka Wili ». Three years later, a more traditional album followed, carrying the title « Djelia ». Sadly, he died in 1997.

His silky voice reminds of that of Ismael Lô, who actually features as invited guest singer on the « Anka Wili » album.

Fodé Aliou's father was part of the Orchestre de Kita even before Mali's independence, but he died when Fodé was nine years old. His mother didn't encourage the young Fodé as she disliked music (cf. Nago Seck: Afrisson article) but an uncle of Fodé, Badié Sissoko inspired him a lot. He took him to various ceremonies where music always plays a major role. Later, another uncle, the famous Batrou Sekou Kouyaté came into his life and from him he learnt to love the kora instrument. In the early 1980s, Fodé Kouyaté started his musical career, first in a theatre ensemble, then in the Orchestre Régional de Kita, Orchestre de Kayes and the Félou Star.
Fodé Kouyaté lived in Côte d'Ivoire during 10 years before leaving for France. He was married with Batrou Sekou Kouyaté's daughter Diamy Kouyaté, together they have 3 children.

Musicians on Anka Wili:
Fodé Kouyaté lead vocals, flute, kora
Mama Keita, Mama Kouyaté, Awa Maïga background vocals
Sayon Cissokho (died in 2002, r.i.p.) ngoni
Cesar Ano Kouakou bass
Thio Mbaye percussion on « Simbo » and « Diouma »
Papa Kouyaté percussion on « Den » and « Tamba »
Kemo Kouyaté, Djely Moussa Kouyaté guitar
Ismael Lô on « Diouma »
Cheikh Tidiane Seck keyboards, production
Michel Lorentz drums, programming, Veronica Sageder sax, Pierre Chabrel trombone, Jean-Luc De Joani trumpet, Laurent Romain keyboard on « Vanille et Chocolat »

Fodé Aliou Kouyaté
 Fodé Aliou Kouyaté 

Born: as Fodé Aliou Kouyaté, 1963 in Kita (according to various internet sources, 1958 is mentioned as year of birth)
Died: 25 octobre 1996 at the Point G Hospital in Bamako (according to various internet sources, 1997 is mentioned as year of death)
Style: mandingo music / kora music

Title Year Label Remarks
Djelia 1996 Celluloid 66947-2 CD
Anka Wili 1993 Syllart/Mélodie 38123-2 CD
Hommage 1989 Tek Records/Ness Music NS 6052 LP

CD liner notes 'Anka Wili'

Page added February 1998