Sekou Kouyate started off touring internationally with his parents, and then with his cousin Ba Cissoko, with who he gained his international reputation as one of the worlds best electric Kora players. The Guinean Kora virtuoso, singer and composer, invented the electrified Kora at the amazing age of 12 - and went on to pioneer the sound with Wa Wa pedals, fast riffs, experimental distortions and rock and jazz-influenced playing. The multi-awarded Kouyate's music is rooted in his West African traditions and influenced by the contemporary Blues, Soul, Funk and Jazz, that has also been his early inspirations. Sekou´s sound, mode of playing and the invention of the electric Kora, has inspired a whole new generation of Kora players.
Not only a great master of the classical musical tradition, Sekou Kouyate also amplifies his instrument and distorts the sound with wah wah pedals, the pioneering idea he got at the age of 12, and that set new standards for West African traditional music to enter the stages of contemporary music. Yet preserving the virtues and techniques of the beautiful instrument, and the knowledge he has proudly inherited from his father, M´Bady Kouyate, and while you know it's still a Kora, the things he does with it, turn it on its head; it's little wonder he's been called the Jimi Hendrix of the instrument. The sound becomes totally new, exciting waterfalls of notes that are palpably thrilling.
He has been called a "Musical Genius" and "The most exiting musician to have come out of the New Generation of the African Continent" and "Worlds best Kora player of his Generation”. Constantly curious and freely experimenting with new sounds, Sekou’s ideas have many sound layers that he extracts from this rich instrument, with its endless possibilities for complex combinations of tones and polyrhythms, and which he performs with great individual expression. Singing with his velvet soft, rich voice, and performing with such abundance of feeling and technique, it is always an emotionally rewarding experience to enjoy Sekou Kouyate´s music. His music is a groovy, soulfull mix of classical Mandingo, and details of Blues, Flaminco, Soul, Jazz and Afro Pop. Hard to descirbe in few terms, Sekou Kouyate has created a music style of its own.
'Sekou Kouyate is one of the best Kora player’s in the world- a musical genius'
Jacob Edgar, Cumbancha, USA
'Sekou is my master, I always tell him, but he denies'
Toumani Diabate, Mali
'Kouyate commands the Kora, coaxing from it’s strings an ethereal sound somewhere between a guitar carved of crystal and a Rennaisance harpsichord. The man is a rare virtuoso'
'SEKOU KOUYATE ROCKS BIG TIME! Sekou Kouyate from Guinea Conakry must be a measureless virtuoso of the Kora'
Live Review, Alexander Agrell, Sydsvenskan, Sweden
'Sekou Kouyate is one of the most amazing musicians in his generation from the African continent'
Kinobe Herbert, Uganda/ USA
SABARU was released July 31, 2015, on One World Records
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Richard Plougmann
Juicy Halftones Studio A Copenhagen, Denmark
Produced by Sekou Kouyate & Carolina Vallejo
Executive producer Carolina Vallejo, One World
Discovery Records UK
Border Music Scandinavia
Digital distribution One World
Sekou Kouyate solo album SABARU, One World Records 2015
In April 2017 fROOTS wrote: 'It could be this first new album encountered in 2017 turns out to be the year’s best......the breadth and depth of Sekou’s performances as an outstanding kora player.... Inevitably his stunning technique on the electric kora played through a wah wah pedal have brought simplistic comparisons with Jimi Hendrix but it would be easy to argue that Sekou’s approach is less flashy and more disciplined'...
SABARU won the GOLD MEDAL GLOBAL MUSIC AWARDS 2015, Top Ten list of World Music Charts Europe for 3 months, on Transglobal World Music Chart Top 20, on The Global Village Top 40 and was selected for 'World Music Charts Europe Best 100 Albums 2016'It is being called his best album so far.
Selected Discography by Sekou Kouyate
2000 KORA MANDINGUE (M´Bady Kouyate)
2004 SABOLAN (w Ba Cissoko)
2008 ELECTRIC GRIOTLAND (w Ba Cissoko)
2008 LEMAN (Blick Bassy)
2009 SENO (w Ba Cissoko)
2011 DIA Sekou Kouyate Experience w Igor Leonardi
2011 LIVE IN MB Sekou Kouyate Experience
2012 NIMISSA (w Ba Cissoko)
2012 YO (Roberto Fonseca)
2012 HONGO CALLING (Blick Bassy)
2012 FAYA (Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate) (Mundial Babel Med Cross Atlantic Award 2015)
2015 SABARU (Sekou Kouyate)
2015 MONISTIC THEORY (Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate)