La Francophonie: a musical dive around the world
To mark International Francophonie Day, we have selected recent albums by five young talents originating from countries which have French as one of their official languages. They include critically acclaimed artists such as Blick Bassy and Melissa Laveaux as well as up-and-coming musicians Ahamada Smis, Mondogift and the band Beat Sexu. From North America to the Comoros via Africa, this musical journey will take you across the world and across the genres, with music ranging from folk, creole and chanson to pop, rock and rap.
Radyo siwèl by Melissa Laveaux | No Format
Sung exclusively in Creole, Melissa Laveaux's third album is a tribute to her Haitian heritage. Drawing inspiration from her childhood memories and a trip to Haiti in 2016, the Canada-born singer revisits age-old tunes by giving them a distinctive, modern flavour.
Ville Bak Karamba by Mondogift | Yes Music
Made up of two Senegalese and one French musician, Mondogift aims to bridge the gap between the two countries through music. Blending together genres such as rap, jazz, soul and traditional folk music their debut album attracted interest from established artists, including IAM, which the band supported on their 2014 tour.
Deuxième fois by Beat Sexu | Pantoum Records
Sung in Canadian French, the band's first full length album is an eclectic mix of pop, rock, disco and afro-latin rhythms. Watch out, these groovy bass lines and repetitive drums are very danceable to !
Listen on Culturethèque
1958 by Blick Bassy | No Format
1958 is a tribute to Ruben Um Nyobe, a leading anti-colonialist figure who was killed by the French colonial powers two years before Cameroon gained its independence. The album brings together subtle bossa nova sounds and other musical influences, including from America (blues, jazz) and from Africa. It is sung in Basso, one of Cameroon's 280 languages.
Afrosoul by Ahamada Smis | Colombe Records
For his second album, the Marseille-born slam artist delivers a joyful mix of hip-hop and Comorian music. His stage performances feature traditional instruments as well as a guitar, a cello and a DJ.