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"So Why ?"The artistic director and the artists

06-11-1997

   

 The artistic director  

 WALLY BADAROU (France-Benin)  

Since 1980, Wally Badarou has built a solid reputation as an Artistic Director in France. Following his first solo album in 1978, his talent has been harnessed by the greatest artists (Myriam Makeba, Grace Jones, Mick Jagger, Joe Cocker, Robert Palmer, Talking Heads, Salif Keita).

In 1980 he joins the jazz-funk band Level 42. He composes the original soundtrack of various films ( Country Ma , The kiss of the spider woman,... ). In 1989, he conducts the music for Jean-Paul Goude's parade in honour of the Bicentenary of the French Revolution on the Champs-Elysées. In 1991, he is recommended by Quincy Jones to create the original soundtrack of New Jack City . Through these years, he continues his solo career at Island Records.

Wally Badarou is widely respected and recognised in the African music industry. Many consider him the African Quincy Jones.

 The artists:  

 1. YOUSSOU N'DOUR (Senegal)  

   

 ©   D.Kirkland/ ICRC

After receiving the Best African Artist Award in September 1996 at the first edition of the All Africa Music Awards (Kora Awards) in Johannesburg, Youssou N'Dour is today widely recognised as the most popular African musician.

He attains world-wide notoriety in 1994 with his duet with Neneh Cherry, 7 seconds , which tours the globe. This single sold world-wide 1 mi llion copies and ranked up number 2 on the American charts and number 1 in eight European countries.

Always willing to contribute to worthy causes, Youssou N'Dour has an exceptional talent to communicate with his public. He once said: " Music is a force, a power. It must be used to better the World " . His next international release is scheduled in March 1998

 2. PAPA WEMBA (Democratic Republic of Congo)  

   

 ©   D.Kirkland/ ICRC

Founder of the renowned group " Zaïko Langa Langa " , Papa Wemba is the most popular singer from Former-Zaire. His reputation, which covers all of Central and Western Africa, has reached Japan and Europe (France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany).

His last album, Emotion , produced in 1995 by Peter Gabriel on his label Real World , has already sold 90'000 copies world-wide. He received with Youssou N'Dour the Best African Artist Award at the first edition of the A ll Africa Music Awards in Johannesburg.

His musical style, based on the traditional Congolese rumba, is intermeshed with brass and guitars from Nigerian Highlife and Rock and Roll percussion. From this magical cocktail was born the rumba rock.

 3. JABU KHANYILE of BAYETE (South Africa)  

   

 ©   D.Kirkland/ ICRC

Born in Soweto, Jabu Khanyile's artistic inspiration is profoundly anchored in Zulu tradition.

His first album, Izinyembezi ( My tears ) sold over 200'000 copies in South Africa and earned him four platinum records. With the release of Mmalo-We , Jabu's reputation spread like brush fire and reached Chris Blackwell, responsible for discovering Bob Marley and U2, who produced Bayete's record on his World Music label, Mango . His record having gone platinum in South Africa, it racked up numerous awards at the South Africa Music Awards: Best Male Performer of the Year and Best Producer.

In September of 1996, he wins the Kora for the Best Artist of Southern Africa at the first edition of the All Africa Music Awards. The world-wide release of his new album, Africa Unite , took place in London in April 1997.

 4. LOURDES VAN-DUNEM (Angola)  

   

 ©   D.Kirkland/ ICRC

Lourdes Van-Dunem, nicknamed " the Great Lady of Angolan music " , reminds one in many ways of Cesaria Evora, the Cape Verde singer. Her exceptional voice sings of the trials that war inflicts on men and invites them to reconcile.

Lourdes'personal destiny has been intimately linked with Angola's fate: twenty years of war made recording impossible but gave this singer an unbounded energy. Today, since peace returned to her bat tered country, she recorded in Lisbon her first record in a long time.

Her musical style is typically Angolan: fast, rhythmic, with a touch of salsa.

 5. LAGBAJ  A (Nigeria)  

   

 ©   D.Kirkland/ ICRC

Lagbaja is a young musical virtuoso whose roots stem from Nigerian Highlife. He is an author, a composer, a singer, a producer but also an exceptional saxophone player.

His second record, " Its an African thing " , distributed by Sony Nigeria in 1996, immediately rose up the charts of this, the most populated country of the African continent.

In concert, he wears a striking coloured cloth mask descended from yoruba tradition. He is an artist without a face singing for people without a voice. He expresses the suffering of the African man drowned in anonymity, an artistic approach that blends perfectly with the spirit of the " So Why? " campaign. Through him, the anonymous victims of the war cry out to the rest of the world.

 6. LUCKY DUBE (South Africa)  

   

 ©   Gallo Music/ICRC  

Lucky Dube is Africa's reggae superstar. With his album Prisoner sold 400'000 units, he is South Africa's most successful ever recording artist. His last album Trinity , released in 1995, has sold over 750'000 units in the first year according to the official Billboard USA chart and sales.

In the struggle against apartheid, Lucky was one of the most powerful voices. Today in countries such as Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, he represents the ultimate role model for thousands of young and destitute Africans. That's why wherever he performs, he raises crowds.

In the " So Why? " project, he has been the artists'host in his home province of KwaZulu Natal, explaining to his friends the complexity of this violence-stricken zulu land. His world-wide commitments did not allow him to participate in the recording of the single " So Why? " . Nevertheless, he has contributed a song to the record and appears in the documentary film of the campaign.