Musicman 1 

The Gambian Observer

Friday, January 14, 2011

One of Guinea's influential cultural stars, Lama Sidibeh is currently in the country to stage series of performances with his Salafindeh group.

The Guinean star who currently has three successful albums under his belt, said his Gambian trip is an annual event, where he will thrill his Gambian fans. The international star who has already carved a niche for himself in the world music scene with series of international accolades, notably in the United States and Cuba, in recognition of his outstanding performances and promotion of cultural music in Guinea and Africa at large, believes this trip will further strengthen his ardent desire to realise his objectives.

In a recent chat with Wha's On, Lama Sidibeh, disclosed that he has successfully released albums both on CD and audio cassettes. He also disclosed that his last album was 'Marifala, a Fulani parlance, meaning take what your money can afford. The Guinea cultural kingpin then went on to describ the Gambia as a peaceful nation- citing the country's unity and cooperation among people. "The music industry in Guinea," he continued, "is growing slowly, but surely gaining momentum. I perform four concerts every week in Conakry."

The star who hails from Mamou in the Fouta Jallon Area, stated that he started music when he was seven years, but did not take it more seriously until later part of his life; thus resulting to the release of his debut album in 1996. He revealed that while in the country, he staged cloudburst in Brikama and Sia, and was also expected to perform at Jokor West Field (Thursday) yesterday.

Sidibeh disclosed that he was among the first Guinean artists to perform in The Gambia in a bid to promote their hits to their Gambian fans, as well as perform at the activities marking Africell's four years anniversary in 2007, which attracted other international artists from Africa and beyond. Commenting on his recent grand music festivals in Dakar, he said, "Fans were really happy about my performances with the band and gave us additional fifteen minutes to rock the stage to thrill the audience."
Lama and his band plans to release an album in 2011.

The Guinean star described 2010 as a good year for him, as he was able to record and release a masterpiece that was highly and widely regarded as the best in the whole of Guinea and has continued to boost the music scene in Guinea. Momodou Jallow, manager of the Guinean artist, described Lama as an influential star who is known in Guinea and all parts of Africa because of his captivating skill which attract fans wherever he performs.

He further disclosed that the Guinean Ministry of Culture gave an award to the last star in recognition of  his artistic skills and his promotion of culture in Guinea. He added that in 2002, Lama and his band were got an award in Indiana State, USA,  and another at the World Music Festivals in Cuba, in recognition of their outstanding performances and support to culture.

It could be recalled that Lama Sidibeh was among international stars who performed at the recent concluded international musical festival held in the Senegalese city of Dakar and has been acclaimed for his impressive performances during the event.

Starting career
Lama Sidibé is the most prominent Guinean singer of the Peul (Fula) ethnic group. He grew up in the popular neighbourhood of Horé Fello in Mamou, in the heart of the Fouta Djalon, a mountaineous region strongly populated by sedentary peul. Already at school, he participated in music and theatre activities and he continued to perform at weddings, and other social ceremonies.

In 1990, he went to N'zérékoré and  joined the Nimba Jazz de N'zérékoré. Parallel to the activities with that band, he found his own group called Mouydhe. With his group, he performed at various occasions organised by the UNHCR and WFP in the forest region of Guinea. Lama Sidibé was active  in sensitising Guineans about the activities of the UNHCR.

In 1995, Lama went to Abidjan, where he recorded a first solo album with the help of his arranger, Sidi Mady Diabaté, before returning to Conakry in 1996. As a result of him learning the music business outside his native Fouta Djalon region, his first cassette « Awelilan » was not purely Fula-inspired music. On his second album « Falaama », however, he returned to his Fula roots and became thus one of the main exponents of a new style Fula-pop, along with Petit Yero, Sekouba Fatako and Binta Laly Sow. His third album, « Séguéléré », provided his biggest hit thusfar, « Mari Faala ».

Author: Sherrif Janko


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