Habib Koité


Few unnecessary songs exist for Habib Koité. He proves this once again with his latest compositions. Not rousing protest songs, but a gentle message about the pleasure of being at home, the happiness of being in Mali, of being aware of his roots and appreciating them. A human patriotism. Soô conveys this in total simplicity. We are better off at home than being uprooted. Habib Koité’s CD is an anthology of secrets of a social life rooted in togetherness. The singer only ever tackles differences positively, notably by singing in several languages. But he also speaks to us about the unity of a country that goes beyond flag waving. He sings about how friends and neighbours help each other, the benefits of playing football, highlighting everything that cements social life and generations. He pays tribute to great musicians, another vital link between communities. Furthermore, personalities such as Toumani Diabaté and Bassekou Kouyaté do him the honour of participating in this new musical adventure. Nevertheless, Habib does not forget to sing to us about love, one of his references on this subject being Edith Piaf. Indeed, his influences are numerous. As such, some call him the white griot because of the extent to which his gathers inspiration around him to create his own, unique approach. But nobody is fooled: Habib’s songs speak about his own people; it is they he addresses. They know and appreciate this. Because Habib perfectly incarnates what Mali is today: a vast multicultural land that yearns for peace and understanding.
Habib has a new appointment with the people of Mali. He has arrived at the right moment, with simple words, which are the best for a people in waiting. And with acoustic music that also weaves the threads that bind people and cultures.