Amy Koita

Amy Koita, or Ami Koita, is probably the most famous female mandingo singer of Mali. Gifted with a volatile voice, and born into the musical tradition of praise singing, Ami won the hearts of the Malian audience. In order to conquer international music markets, she tried at several occasions to mix modern and traditional elements in her music, with varying success. But she always came back with another album, closer to her musical roots.

She is born in a pure Mandé family in Djoliba, bordering on the Niger river, South of Bamako, the very heart of mandingo culture. Her father, Bengaly Fodé Koïta died when she was three years old, but he is known for his knowledge of Malian kings, battles and general history. After her father's death, her mother and the little Amy went to Bamako, Mali's capital. The link with Djoliba wasn't broken, as Amy continued to be influenced and trained by her grand mother and by Wa Kamissoko, the brother of Amy's mother, and also a traditionalist griot who worked with historian Youssouf Tata Cissé. In 1966, she was successful at a song contest as a recruit for the Ensemble instrumental national du Mali, which she joined at the age of 17. She recorded and toured with the ensemble, and participated in the Festival des Arts Nègres (FESTAC77) in Lagos, Nigeria, together with Guinean Sory Kandia Kouyaté.

After her FESTAC77 participation, she decided to start a solo career and a first solo album was released. Throughout the 1980s, 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s, many albums followed.

Album cover 'Mamaya'
 Amy Koïta: Album cover 'Mamaya'
• Musicians on the album « Debe/Amy Nana »:
KÚlÚtigui DiabatÚ balafon;
Bouba Sacko guitar;
Moriba Ko´ta ngoni;

Born: 1952, in Djoliba
Style: malinke/mandingo music

Title Year Label Remarks
Classics Titles 2006 Cantos Compilation
Sanou Lolo 2004 Seydoni Mali Cassette (digital release 2013)
Best of Amy Koïta 2004 Sazima/Sonima SMCD 1408 Compilation
Africawé 2003 Mali K7 S.A.
Pour collectionneur : Vol. 3 [nd] No label Album Tara / NÚnÚ Daou (1978)
Pour collectionneur : Vol. 2 [nd] No label Album Debe (1985)
Pour collectionneur : Vol. 1 [nd] No label Album Hine Mansa / Bomboli Niare (1976)
Sarama 1999 Production Samir Naman / Mali K7 S.A. Cassette (digital release 2013)
Djiguy 1998 Déclic
Carthage 1995 Sonodisc CD 6840 Compiled from two cassettes Le Défi and L'Expérience
L'Expérience 1994 Mansa Cassette
Le défi 1994 Mansa Cassette
Songs of Praise 1993 Stern's STCD 1039 Compiled from two cassettes 'Hommage' and 'Nakan'
Hommage à Sambayal Gaye "Concorde" 1992 AK 001 Cassette
Mamaya 1989 Syllart 38120-2
Mali Stars: Nakan 1988 Syllart 38115-2
La sublime Amy Koita: Djamba Kono 1991 Camara Production CK7 083
Mory Djo 1989 Oubien OU 003 Cassette
Tata Sira 1986 Bolibana 42079-2
Debe/Amy Nana 1985 Esperance ESP 7517
NÚnÚ Daou 1978 LP
Impératrice de la Chanson Malienne 1976 Disco Club de la Bagoue FT 003 LP

Page added October 1998