The Congolese singer and guitarist releases a new album after seven years of silence. The opportunity to rediscover his personality and his taste for mixing, for his unique blues and Brakke of his childhood. His two previous discs, "Řásná" (1997) and "Bend" (2001), have been exhausted long ago. Based in Paris for twenty years, So Kalmery is one of those rare artists, probably too few who prefer shadow to light and build their careers with modesty and discretion. With a shy and elegant taste of the secret out, are we trying to write. These are the first words that come to mind when one meets the man of fifty years, soft-spoken and laid. It is what life has polished, having abandoned the unnecessary to focus on the essentials.
So was born near Lake Kivu in the east of what is still the Belgian Congo, in middle 1950s. His musician father, a supporter of the martyrdom of Congolese independence Patrice Lumumba, his mentor disappears in the turmoil of the early 1960s. We never found his body. Orphaned at the age of reason, a refugee in the wooded areas bordering the Great Lakes, So fled with various orchestras conflicts ravaging the region, and finally found refuge in Zambia. As a teenager, he accompanied the star Dorothy Masuka local, then joined Kinshasa in the late 1970s. Rumba shakes Zaire, and the young man on guitar officie in Viva la Musica, along with Papa Wemba and Koffi Olomidé. He finally wins the Europe in the early 1980s, spent some years in London, then settled permanently in Paris.
"I traveled to find me"
"At the time, in Africa, we store a lot, but now I do not less than five years to make a record," says he was surprised when his years of silence. For his first two albums, he had worked with Loy Ehrlich, Paco Sery, Etienne Mbappé or Linley Marthe. Since then, the artist resumed his travels, quiet throughout his life: he sought inspiration from Guadeloupe to Australia aborigines through Egypt, and his multi-instrumentalist father, who sailed piano to the trumpet through the accordion, he adopted his compositions for the oud and the didgeridoo, besides his famous douze cordes and electric. Brakke System This probably sounds more pop than his previous albums, with a majority of tracks to hop blues, driven by his fluid guitar playing and groovy and rhythmic Hilaire provided by Panda and Larry Crockett, drummer Liz McComb. But some more unusual pieces illuminate the entire disc smooth, while his talent. As beautiful Kamitik Soul, haunted song about redemption, or Sema, room acoustics for flights saxophone. In the end, it sounds perhaps less African than its predecessors, Brakke System keeps riddims and approach cyclic rhythm of the continent first, and Swahili, the language as main language mixed with English.
"Healing, educate people"
If its purpose is more globalized, So it has not forgotten where he comes: he works with young African musicians in Paris, they transmit the Brakke, a piece of the culture of East Africa almost forgotten since independence, which he sees as his school of music and life. "An old tradition, a dance battle ... but also especially popular music, street, educational for young people, who practiced with great discipline and transmitting knowledge. It was the hip-hop of our African societies, long before the hour, "he summed. "Music has always had several functions: to celebrate, but also heal, educate people. Artists choose their path. But today, only the festive march music, "says he with the sweetness that he knows. This is also why it is trying to pass on his heritage: "It may be because Africa ignores its past that it does not plan in the future."