Moustafa Kouyaté & Romain Malagnoux
Mali / Canada
Originally from France and living in Quebec, Canada since 2004, singer and guitarist Romain Malagnoux met Moustafa Kouyaté during a trip to Mali in 2009. A virtuoso on the djeli n’goni, a small African guitar that is an ancient relative of the banjo, Moustafa learned to play from his father Bassékou Kouyaté, himself a world-renowned musician. Romain and Moustafa hit it off and recorded the album “Les Frontières Imaginaires” (Imaginary Borders), which they released in 2013.
The chemistry of the musical duo reveals itself a clever and harmonious hybrid of melodies of traditional inspiration and folk rhythm. Listeners will note the influences of Bassékou Kouyaté, Habib Koité, and of Rodrigo & Gabriela. The album since won the Canadian Folk Music Award for Best World Music Band in 2014 and the Independent Music Award for the World Beat category in 2015.