Monday, February 14, 2011

Song Of The Week - Mallaikka by Angelique Kidjo

One of nine children, Angélique Kidjo was born in a village called Ouidah on the coast of Benin and she speaks of the security she felt in the solidarity and community life of the village. Her music still throbs with the tribal and pop rhythms of her West African heritage. She was raised in the voodoo religion as well as Catholicism, and speaks of how it teaches respect for nature, without which people would not exist.

Her mother owned a theatre group with which she first performed, aged six. Later the family left the country because of an unstable political situation, and went to live in Paris where she studied jazz and law and met her husband and collaborator, Jean Hebrail.

She considered becoming a human rights lawyer, but decided that she could make a greater impact through her music. ‘I have been singing onstage since I was a child, but my dream was to help the world get better,’ she says. ‘My law teacher told me that I'm not diplomatic enough to be a lawyer! I get much too passionate.

‘I like to write love songs, and I do sometimes, but a lot of my lyrics are inspired by social injustice. Coming from a very poor country always put things in perspective for me.

‘I truly feel that through music something magical happens that creates a special bond between people from very different backgrounds.

Suis profondément touchée par cette musique, cette chanson. Je ne comprends la langue mais toute l'emotion passe le talent et le don de cette belle chanteuse. Merci a elle.

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