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Musician Spotlight

Arouna & Biko

Arouna & Biko

Burkina Faso / USA

Arouna Diarra and Biko Casini are musicians from different parts of the world, but share a deep passion for the music and instruments of West Africa. Casini is a percussionist, n’goni player, and songwriter best known for his work with American folk group Rising Appalachia and his appearances on viral videos produced by Playing for Change. Diarra, originally from Burkina Faso, is an accomplished n’goni & balafon player. Diarra was born into a family composed of musicians, poets, and storytellers, and is a twelfth-generation musician. Diarra introduced Casini to his heritage, teaching him how to construct and play the n’goni, a traditional West African guitar. Together, under the name Arouna & Biko, they have crafted numerous instruments and embarked on extensive tours across North and Central America, captivating audiences with their distinctive musical blend.

The song "Champions" originally appeared on Arouna & Biko’s 2019 debut album Bamana ya Sira. The song relates the importance of supporting and protecting the one you love. “I’d walk through fire for you / Sail through a storm / Be like a lion for you / If it keeps you from harm / Love is a river  / It flows on and on / To the edge of the ocean / In the land of the dawn / I’ll be your champion.” 


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World Love Songs

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