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Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | AFM

Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana | AFM
Established on Jan, 2012
Band World Afropop


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Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Fatau Keita is what we call an “African Pop Musician” or even “African World Musician”: an inheritor, creator and young exponent of a kind of West African popular music that transcends the conventional boundaries of popular music hitherto drawn, at least as far as the West of Africa is concerned. Fatau’s music points us to alternative routes of musical inspiration and appropriation in Ghana to those of the exclusively Highlife, Afrobeat, Funk, Soul, Reggae, Hip Hop and Dancehall elements in popular music most musicians embrace. With very few exceptions, music-makers in Ghana have not been much attracted by the popular music of their Malian, Guinean and Senegalese “neighbors” but different with Fatau Keita.

While Fatau’s acoustic recordings illuminate the artist’s musical skills and feel as a soloist, Fatau and the band’s studio recordings showcase a strong quest for the popular and therefore take musical inspiration from various Ghanaian and non-Ghanaian sources. By this, Fatau creates a new vibrant music rooted in his outstanding musicality, contemporary Dagbamba culture, pan-west African world music, Accra and Ghana’s modern popular music, as well as Twi and Hausa “lingua franca popular music & culture” – all make up the special texture of his music. On the other hand, current studio production and arrangement styles in Ghana that feed on Highlife, Jazz, Afro-Cuban and South African sounds, rhythms and arrangements, a “Gospel Highlife” aesthetics and “African pop” fragments characterize these recordings; made in the country’s musically vibrant capital Accra. All in all, they mirror the local and trans-local musical sources that have contributed to and shaped popular music in Ghana over the last decades. In Fatau’s music they interact in a special way to craftily fashion a new form of musical expression. Notwithstanding the inspirational merits of his great musical idols, Fatau Keita creates a strong, idiosyncratic style that is both; steeped in trans-regional/trans-national/pan-African modernity as well as Ghanaian cultural tradition.

This debut album of Fatau Keita is the outcome of two years of musical work by Fatau, his musicians, numerous rehearsals, live performances and studio sessions. Over the years Fatau has tried to form and maintain his Accra-based Naawuni Bie Band and despite many difficulties has succeeded. He has gathered a group of young and dedicated musicians around himself who seem to be willing to share his sense of “trying to make it” as a band, without money matters first. However, rehearsals are a form of musical and social interaction that has been a particularly difficult task for bandleaders in Ghana for quite some time: in terms of booking and paying for rehearsal rooms, equipment, organization of time schedules, and transport fees of musicians. All this is considered the job of the artist/bandleader. By finishing this CD, Fatau has taken a great first step towards what he is hoping to achieve; and what he has worked so hard for over the last years.

Fatau Keita originally hails from Tamale in the Northern Region of Ghana. A native of the Dagomba, Fatau’s exciting musical mix blends traditional Dagamba music like "Simpaa" with highlife and takes inspiration from his musical Heroes like Salif Keita, Youssou N’Dour, Angelique Kidjo and Fela Kuti.

Being a vocalist with an amazing musical expression and intense stage performance, Fatau Keita’s live concerts are something nobody should ever miss. He is indeed the new sensation of Africa.

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." - Nelson Mandela

As a young Tennis player with great skills, music had always been a deeper passion and lurking talent waiting to explode. Fatau Keita discovered his musical genius at an early age when he wrote his first song. With a deep passion for acoustic music and string melodies, he started practicing his guitar skills and perfecting his vocal abilities.

Fatau and the band’s vibrant live performances provide an even stronger experience of another superb example of “young pan-African pop music” that promisingly binds tradition in modernity.

Band Members