Released in 1979, self-financed by loans from friends and allies, Mandinka Dong – The Mandinke Dance – is the genesis of Touré Kunda, the cornerstone of the band’s unique sound, at the crossroads of Disco, Funk, Pop, Reggae, Portuguese, Guinean, Cuban, Zairean, Mandinke and Soninke music.
Back in 1977, Paris France. Two brothers freshly arrived from Casamance, the Senegalese ‘Florida’, are living the tough immigrant experience. Their plan: becoming pop stars. A challenge so ambitious it sounds like science fiction at the time: Bob Marley, Fela Kuti and a handful of others artists have started making waves in the Western world , but the rise of the Pan-African sound is still at an early stage. The Touré brothers have formed a band, written some songs, and start frequently playing their music live, to great effect, at an underground theatre called the Dunois in the 13th Parisian district. The hype starts spreading. A TV crew captures the scene. Right place, right time. Overcoming the odds, their parents’ ban on playing music (“a satanic activity”), the death of their brother and mentor Amadou (victim of a heart attack live on stage in 1983) and a stint in a Mauritanian prison, they will ultimately reach stardom a few years later under the name Touré Kunda (The Elephant Family).
A legendary 40-year career will follow: 16 albums released, millions of records sold, numerous world tours, awards and collabs with the likes of Manu Dibango, Talking Heads, Carlos Santana, Bill Laswell, Alpha Blondy, Bernie Worrel …
With Mandinka Dong, Secousse and Hot Mule exhume an important chapter of the musical history of Senegal and France, to rediscover without restraint.
Mandinka Dong arrives on September 16 and is available to pre-order now.