While rumours were circulating about the release of his new album, Alpha Blondy dropped a magnificent music video on his YouTube page on the evening of Friday, January 28, 2022… a cover of the song “Stewball” (1966) by the French singer Hugues Aufray. Just online the song recorded hundreds of thousands of “views” and “likes”, and hundreds of comments.
Alpha Blondy, a dying voice on a stainless tube
Decidedly! Nothing can resist the trunk of the reggae superstar Alpha Blondy. In this song, unforgettable food, warmed and put on the table of music lovers, the chef Alpha deploys, with the humility that characterizes the giants, an incredible vocal agility. We did not expect anything less from him. He whom his fans call “Jagger” knew how to keep the same stamp, the same authority… that we know him. He can sing in all the registers, grab the octaves at his ease, catch a divine note in flight. Where first-rate artists would have broken the voice, would have sung false, the reggae star has just achieved an incredible feat of strength by wearing new clothes this song that slept in the dust of time. Creating is art – within the reach of all artists. But, reshaping a masterpiece and keeping intact all the features that made it charming, it is called genius. It is a rather difficult challenge for artists-performers to pose their voices on tubes that have entered the memories with a certain accent, a certain note, a certain perfume,… We run the risk of doing too much or very little. In either case, this is not to the artist’s advantage. But there, Alpha, with his catchy voice, makes a stream of warm air run through the veins of this melancholy song. His fluid voice brings to this song a certain dramatic tension.
A fairy and colorful clip
Location: Club de l’Etrier; an equestrian club in the heart of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in a listed forest. 1, 2, 3… Action! Sounds of galloping. Alpha appears all dressed in white: white cap and mount on the tip of the nose. A white stallion breaks the screen. A 10-year-old child (Jay Gagnon) is holding a horse. A beautiful woman (San Yoshida), in red dress, enters a paddock and performs magnificent dance steps with the beautiful aplomb of a thoroughbred who cavalcades, happy. In this clip of a primitive ingenuity, each actor plays his score wonderfully. A real performance. The actors are a photogenic charm to take your breath away. And then, a cinematic light, neat and dosed, which gives this clip the beauty of a Marvel movie. The images explain the metaphors of the song with great precision and highlight the music that accompanies the agile riders of this thoroughbred. In this clip saturated with melancholy germ, emotion, full of sentimental postillon, grips us with images, music, the voice of the artist… and puts our tear glands to the test.
I’ve been listening to this song for years—in audio, without music videos. Actually, since I was a child. But in front of this sensational clip, I was really moved. You can even hear my tears flapping on the screen of my phone. I’m not exaggerating anything. Go to the You Tube page, the detour is worth taking.