And yet, in spite of his status of Commander of the African Groove, Alpha reinvents himself album after album. He has always steered clear of the pitfalls of formatting and tried to bring in something new to the mix.
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As was to be expected, his sixteenth studio album, Mystic Power, is no exception to the rule. I wanted to innovate, amplify the whole rock aspect of our sound.
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I wanted to break free from the whole ethnic, tribal thing. I want to expand the reggae territory, reach out to all the fans. I loved his show, plus he has a great sense of humour.
- Jamais, pourtant, on compte de plus en plus de célibataires.
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I asked him to feature on my next album and he said No Problem. He phoned me les filles qui cherche garcon when he was in Germany, saying he really wanted to come over.
There was a great atmosphere.
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I love Beenie because the music on which he toasts sounds a lot like reggae. We all know how fond Alpha is of covering reggae or French chanson classics, and there are two prime examples on Mystic Power: Thirty years on, he has finalised this outstanding cover. It sounds more violent in French.
The second is a cover of a monument of French chanson, which Joey Starr also previously took on: There is a treasure trove of gorgeous French songs that has yet to be tapped into. I want to give well-written songs a new lease of life by reggaefying them.
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On this acoustic number, the singer owns up to his own shortcomings: I tried, I really tried. But God decided otherwise.
If they loved the Ivorian People, they would have made concessions to prevent what we ended up seeing. Sometimes, when you read the paper, you feel they got it entirely wrong.
How many more gallons of blood do they need before they can figure it out? We started hearing about true Ivorians, those of ancient lineage, the difference between those born here and those who turned up here. And, as we are a very proud people, if you tell an Ivorian he is more Ivorian than his neighbour, you get a war.
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And he makes sure his actions match his words. Alpha the melodist, activist and philosopher. Quite simply the most important African reggae artist today.
Et pourtant, malgré son statut de commandeur du groove africain, Alpha se réinvente à chaque album, évitant les pièges du formatage et amenant à chaque fois un nouvel élément à son mix. Et bien sûr, Mystic Power, son seizième album studio, ne fait pas exception à la règle.
Je veux agrandir la dimension du reggae, toucher les filles qui cherche garcon les fans. Trente ans plus tard, il finalise cette superbe cover. En Français, ça sonne plus violent. Dans ce morceau acoustique, le chanteur bat sa coulpe: Mais Dieu en a décidé autrement. Et il met ses actes en accord avec ses paroles.
Mélodiste, militant et philosophe. Tout simplement le plus important artiste africain du reggae contemporain. Olivier Cachin.