Mohammed Alidu & The Bizung Family

Mohammed Alidu & The Bizung Family

 Burbank, California, USA
BandWorld

Modern, electric Afro-soul music from West Africa and beyond. The music is warmly familiar and utterly sincere. There’s a beating heart and passionate soul to his music, and it can’t (and won’t) be denied. It’s also incredibly funky. I dare you not to dance.

Biography

Singer, songwriter and drummer, Mohammed Alidu and his band The Bizung Family fuse traditional and contemporary elements from West Africa & Madagascar, creating a totally unique and passionately African sound.

At the heart of The Bizung Family is Master Drummer Mohammed Alidu who was born into a lineage of talking drum players from Northern Ghana. Alidu has performed in many countries throughout the world. In 2004, he spent one year in Madagascar, collaborating with local artists. It was there that he started to compose and perform his unique blend of Afropop music. The songs were not bound by the idea of fitting into the boundaries and structures of a specific musical tradition; they simply rose from a desire to make music that was both compelling and poignant. Much of the bands distinct and original sound comes from his compositions compositions that pulsate from a percussionists perspective and contagiously inspire the audience to dance.

The instrumentation that accompanies Alidus singing ranges from guitar, sax and keyboards to traditional African instruments such as the djembe, talking drum and kpanlogo drum.

*Invited, at 19 years old, to perform at the inauguration of President JJ Rawlings

*Recorded on Peter Gabriels Ovo: Millennium CD in 2001

*Invited to perform in Buckingham Palace for Queen Elizabeths Golden Jubilee 2002

*Performed as a solo artist for International Music Night at Albert Hall in London 2003

*Performed WOMAD Festival Singapore 2004

*Performed with Baaba Mal during his US Tour 2006

*Performed with Otis Taylor at Milwaukee Fest 2008

*Performed with Rocky Dawuni at Reggae on The Rocks 2008

Lyrics

Only Love

Written By: Mohammed Alidu

(lyrics in Dagbanli)

Zagla pa niva, bon'nin nyini
Ka a be nin nire.
Ka ti suhiri yisi ka ali balayi
bili n lan bilindi nyohi mali
Ka ban ti mali laamba ni ban ka laamba bana nin tam zori yeri yeri.
Ka ban ti mali laamba ni ban ka laamba la bana, ka zim zori yeri yeri.

Now that we know where we are coming from - will you join me in my song?
I sing to you, only love will understand me.
Now that we know where we are coming from - will you join me in my song?
I sing to you, only love will understand me.

I said it's you and you said it's me.
I said it's you and you said it's me.
Ka n yeli ni nyini, ka'a yeli ni mani.
Ka ti suhiri yisi n kon suhi ziya n lan kon suhi doo, n lan kon ti yuri, n lan kon zo simli.

Ka ali bakiyi bili n lanbilindi la nyohi.
Ka ban ti mali laamba ni ban ka laamba la bana ka nintam zori yeri yeri.
Ka ban ti mali laamba ni ban ka laamba la bana ka zim zom yeri yeri.

Now that we know where we're coming from will you join me in my song?
I sing to you, only love will understand me.

(lyrics in English)

Someone is wrong, what makes you think that they are right?
We get angry, trouble starts and it builds like smoke.
Those who have people they can look up to are happy, those who don't are crying.
Their tears are flowing.
Those who have people they can look up to are happy, those who don't are crying.
Their tears are flowing like blood.

Now that we know where we are coming from - will you join me in my song?
I sing to you, only love will understand me.
Now that we know where we are coming from - will you join me in my song?
I sing to you, only love will understand me.

I said it's you and you said it's me.
I said it's you and you said it's me.
When we get angry, there is no peace of mind, there is no love, there is no friendship.
Trouble starts and builds up like smoke.

Those who have people they can look up to are happy, those who don't are crying.
Their tears are flowing.
Those who have people they can look up to are happy, those who don't are crying.
Their tears are flowing like blood.

Now that we know where we're coming from will you join me in my song?
I sing to you, only love will understand me.

Sala Be

Written By: Mohammed Alidu

(lyrics in Dagbanli)

Ti zom nin sala, sala pala nira
Ti zom nin sala, sala pala nira

Zugo zema nin salnima o yi ku nyaaa n la niga ka di pala be puuni

Ka be yeli ni ti zom jengbini, ka zom gbuginli, ka zom yobaa

Dama ban bela mogni, amaa be mi ka taali
Dama ban bela mogni, amaa be mi ka taali

Zugo zemani go yelimangli naai ya ka guui yelimang dara

Gnun ti gbib buni, gnun mali yeli man li.

Kuu yi waa yi, be yen yohinti kpe mogu
Kuu yi waa yi, be yen yohinti kpe mogu
Kuu yi waa yi, be yen yohinti kpe mogu

(lyrics in English)

Human Nature

Beware of people for they are not always what they seem to be.
Beware of people for they are not always what they seem to be.
In today's world, when people see you they smile but it might not be genuine.

They tell us to be afraid of the tiger, the lion and the wolf because they are wild, even though they are harmless.
They tell us to be afraid of the tiger, the lion and the wolf because they are wild, even though they are harmless.

In today's world, there is no truth.
The truth that is left is the truth that can be bought.
Those who have money are those who hold the truth.
Oh my, they are going to mislead us.

Tabli Tabli

Written By: Mohammed Alidu

Tabli Tabli

(lyrics in Dagbanli)

Ma yo yo yo sa pa ya cheli ya cheli ya.
Tabli tabli cheli ya zabli nu.
Anduniya nema cheli ya zabli nu.
Somalia nema cheli ya zabli nu.
Rwanda nema cheli ya zabli nu.
Uganda nema cheli ya zabli nu.
Iraq nema cheli ya zabli nu.
Zabli shega tin zabligo mabiligu zabli nyela.
Zabli bechani sheli. Zabli kusonti.

Tabli tabli.

(English translation)

Mom, I’m calling out for you – it’s time to stop them.
Trouble, trouble. Let’s stop the fighting.
People of the world, please stop the fighting.
People of Somalia please stop the fighting.
People of Rwanda please stop the fighting.
People of Uganda please stop the fighting.
People of Iraq please stop the fighting.
The fighting we are engaged in will never help us.
We are all one family fighting among ourselves – we will never move forward like this.

Trouble, trouble.

*Please note – some of the letters in the Dagbanli alphabet do not exist in our alphabet. Letters from our alphabet have been used as substitutions where necessary in the Dagbanli lyrics.

Discography

Asisawa - traditional African rhythms
Land of Fire - Afropop/World - soon to be released