Dread Maxim
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Dread Maxim

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Jouant à la fois le rôle de producteur et celui d’artiste vedette
de ce festival, Tiken Jah Fakoly (l’ancien lauréat des
Découvertes RFI) nous présentera quelques uns des plus
grands espoirs de la nouvelle génération du reggae africain.
Des artistes dont nous allons vite entendre parler: Béta Simon
(Côte d'Ivoire), Dread Maxim (Sénégal) et Takana Zion (Guinée)
et dont les albums devraient être prochainement disponibles.
Béta Simon est un auteur-compositeur-interprète ivoirien déjà bien connu en Afrique de l’ouest. Son
nouvel album, "Kraity Payan Guez", est produit par Tiken Jah Fakoly et entouré des musiciens de ce
dernier. Takana Zion et Dread Maxim sont eux deux anciens rappeurs convertis au reggae qui prônent
des valeurs humanistes en s’appuyant sur un discours pacifiste. Le premier, originaire de Conakry et
désormais basé à Bamako, vient de sortir son premier album, « Retour à Zion ». Quant à Dread Maxim,
le Dakarois dont Awadi dit le plus grand bien, il a déjà deux CD à son actif au Sénégal et devrait
bientôt faire parler de lui dans l’hexagone.
- RFI.fr


Discography

2000 "Revelation" k7 sortie a dakar
2003 "Jah Fire" k7 sortie a dakar
2005 cd "jah Fire" taken out in France sous le label rejoyce ; www.rejoyce.fr

Photos

Bio

Didier Maxim Amar Mbengue was born into a traditional Serer family in Mboro, Senegal. From a very young age, Maxim knew he wanted to be a musician. Although his parents were not musicians, his father was a longtime fan of soul music and his mother was an avid listener of French music. Says Maxim, “I was raised in a musical environment well before I began my own career in music.”

After attending Saint Gabriel college, Maxim became disillusioned with school and decided to pursue his musical dreams. He initially joined the group “Family MC” where he began as a rapper. Soon after, he turned to reggae and created his own group, Big Nation Possee. During this time, he also played with the Ics Orchestra.

When Maxim decided to pursue his solo career, he changed his stage name to Dread Maxim. The name “Dread” both refers to his signature dreadlocks as well as the double-entendre meaning “dreadful/terrible.” This self-naming expresses the singer’s desire to be “dreadful in order to scare away the forces of evil.” Dubbed by the press as the “Rasta Prince” and the “Alpha Blondy of Senegal,” Dread Maxim has the sinuous voice of Rastafaris, and is very much inspired by Jamaican music, especially Bob Marley.

In 1998, Dread Maxim’s big break came when was invited by Michael Souma of Dakar FM for a radio appearance. This brought him to the attention of the German pianist and producer Steven Toeteberg, who was captivated by Maxim’s voice. The two worked together to make Maxim’s first album, “Revelation,” which was released in August 2000. The first album by a reggae singer from the Thiès region, the album features songs in French, Wolof, English and Serer, covering themes from love, peace and unity of Africa, to the plight of underprivileged children. This debut album put Dread Maxim on the Senegalese music map, but it was his second album, Jah fa ya (2003) that made him a huge sensation throughout the country. “After this album came out, I toured all of the regions of Senegal and realized that people everywhere knew my songs, and would sing along with the refrains. This told me that my message had reached the spirit of the people.”

Dread Maxim is already a household name in Senegal, and plans to make his mark internationally. Rejoyce, a production company based in Versailles, recently released his single, “Hope,” in a compilation that includes pop, rock, reggae, Gospel and electro music. Dread Maxim plans to tour internationally in 2008 and spread his music and his message to more audiences around the world.