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[MUSIC-IN] – Coumba Gawlo is better, the diva has reconciled with her voice

Coumba Gawlo Seck @Page Facebook Coumba G. S.

That was February 4, 2021. I woke up with a notification. I click on it: I read with amazement; ‘I’M GETTING OUT OF THE MUSIC SCENE FOR NOW’. Sledgehammer. I don’t see the adverbial phrase. It is the verb “remove” in capital letter that grabs my attention and shoves in its sharp greenhouses. Shocked, I am tempted to drop my phone, as seen in Hollywood movies. I anticipate the scene. I visualize the action: I see the screen breaking on contact with the ground in a thousand pieces. Cold sweat. I change my mind. The painful, not feigned comments follow each other. I read them without really believing them. This woman, I loved the spiciness of her voice, I loved her music, I dreamed of attending one of her concerts. There, I fell from the clouds. For me, she is one of the best African singers, one of the most powerful vocally. No one can deny that. Would you dare? You guys! Who is this ‘she’ I hesitate to name, to wear a surname?

I want to talk about the daughter of the famous lyricist Lamine Bamba Seck and the famous Senegalese morello cherry Fatou Kiné Mbaye. In sub-Saharan Africa, the griot, before becoming today this sinister blood-eating poor who parades in funerals and baptisms, was originally part of the caste of poets-musicians. And the morello cherries are famous for their superb voice. Today, this mutilated caste has lost its old soul and prestige. Music is to the morello cherry what perfume is to the flower. Also, when I learned of Coumba’s withdrawal from the music scene as a result of an operation that had damaged her vocal cords, I was speechless. She was now unable to practice the only thing she knew how to do.

Coumba Gawlo Seck @Page Facebook Coumba G. S.

Let’s sing it!
Coumba was born with a voice with a tone of gold and crystal. She did nothing for it; she inherited it from her mother. We knew she was called to a great future. It is therefore not surprising that at the age of 14, she won the competition «Voix d’Or du Sénégal» on a song “Soweto” written by her father. In 1990, she produced her first ‘Seytané’ album for Syllart Records, which made her known to the general public. She will produce up to four other albums there. Despite a few awards, the consecration is slow even if at the local level, it gleans a few laurels of third zone here and there. But artistically, she still turns into the maze of amateurism. In 1998, to everyone’s surprise, she releases “Yo Malé”, a musical nugget. This album brings together a big player of music, Patrick Bruel. With “Yo Malé”, she won a double gold in Belgium and a platinum in France. But that’s not all. There’s the never-ending “Pata Pata”.

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“Pata Pata”, taken from a breathtaking tube
With a magnificent cover of this stainless tube by Miriam Makeba, Coumba enters a new turn in his young career and becomes a key figure in music. “Pata Pata”, under the voice of Coumba, electrifies the French youth. It even becomes the summer hit and platinum record in France in 1999. This “three-time Kora-woman” no longer has anything to prove. But, having a generous soul, she is committed to working with sick children and women. To my chagrin, she’s joining the Assholes Club. She describes the soft attitude of African leaders and urges her peers to take more initiative.

Coumba, a voice of gold
One of the properties of gold is its inalterability to air and water. I jumped out of my chair when I heard Coumba say on her Facebook page, “I have regained the fullness of her vocal chords”. I breathed a sigh of relief, and to attest to what she said, she posted a clip from her latest “Tekk Gui” album, 2018.

‘Tekk Gui’: A tribute clip
It’s like Wakanda, in a Marvel production: in the heart of a primitive forest, an African goddess swarms with her fingers-queens of subsidiary notes. Every piano touch is a note of fire whose echo spreads into the stream. It makes sacred sounds rain. A pause. An invitation to ‘listen to the silence’, tekk gui. This song would be dedicated to her late father, Laye Bamba Seck.


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