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Help Bafing Kul

Help Bafing Kul

Help Bafing Kul

By on - 6 comments

Important message to the reggae community: Help Get Bafing Kul's Album released


This is an urgent appeal to all readers of United Reggae and all lovers of reggae and African music to help correct a massive artistic injustice.

We have received a copy of an album, Yelen – La Lumiere – The Light by a Malian singer called Bafing Kul. On first listen it became immediately apparent that his fusion of West African blues scales with vintage yet forward thinking roots rhythms is one of the finest recordings we have heard this year.

Born Issa Coulibaly, Bafing Kul has a lineage and pedigree as impressive as that of his music. A true Bambara from Segou, he is a descendent of Bitón Coulibaly, the founder of the Bambara Empire. Tradition forbids Bambara nobility from singing, so his decision at 14 to write songs on his guitar earned him censure from some sections of his family. Furthermore his criticism of injustice in his lyrics resulted in him leaving Mali in 2002 in fear for his life. However, he persisted and this, his second album (recorded in Bamako, Paris, and Abdijan) is the most perfect meeting of Malian music and reggae since Vieux Farke Toure strapped on his guitar and wrote Ana for his sister.

Bafing Kul - 2008

A strong theme in his lyrics is the suffering of women. He decries female domestic slavery on the beguilingly spritely “B52”, as well as the widespread practice of female genital mutilation on opening track “Eh! Eh! Eh!” - whose song-craft, whirling Malian rhythms and grounded reggae afterbeat will please both supporters of African reggae singers and Malian artists such as Amadou & Mariam alike. The arrangements and Micael Sene’s production of all the songs are nothing short of inspired.

Unfortunately, Bafing Kul cannot find a distribution deal for the record and Yelen is currently languishing in obscurity. We urge any label with an interest in the music of the Black Diaspora to consider releasing this album, and we ask music fans everywhere to help us lobby to get this remarkable singer onto the market and into their lives.

Please take the time to listen to the sound-clips attached. We think you will agree - it is nothing short of criminal that these songs cannot be enjoyed by the public at large.

Please show your support for Bafing Kul by leaving your comments below.

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Read comments (6)

Posted by Bleatkins on 04.19.2008
Charming with attitude – why not try circulating some translated lyrics, at least for the excerpts online (no escape from Anglo-centricity…)

I’ve forwarded to my BAMER networks rep (hook for women’s sector re. domestic slavery & FGM) let me know if you want more contacts.

Good luck with the campaign, Helen X

Posted by The_ruckle on 04.19.2008
Bafing Kul has a vital message, conveyed through the vehicle of his incredible music. It is a travesty that Yelen is not available to the public. Please right this wrong...

Only through supporting the music of artists like Bafing Kul, will the voice of the oppressed and dispossed be heard - and ultimately acted upon...

Distributors of the world unite..!

Release Yelen now...!

Posted by Moni on 04.19.2008
Nice tunes, but lyrics would be helpful...would be interesting to hear more from this artist.

Posted by Cormac on 04.20.2008
Bafing Kul sings softly but carries a big stick.

Posted by Veester on 04.21.2008
Loving Bafing Kul! My iPod has a lot of Amadou & Mariam, Souad Massi, and Lekan Babalola on it and Bafing Kul will go straight on there as soon as I can get my hands on it!

Posted by JohnnyRoots on 04.28.2008
I just love it very good... hope that he get a label soon

Comments actually desactivated due to too much spams

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