Africa has its internationally acclaimed female voices and the voice of Dobet Gnahoré has made its mark there. With her latest release, “MIZIKI”, the voice of the multi-talented Ivorian singer resonates African sounds mixed with samples of electronic music, a subtle blend revealing a musical style which echoes her own character – freedom. The freedom to make a fifth album in which modernity feeds on tradition and heritage. Inspired by her travels all around the world (more than 800 concerts since 2004), Dobet shares a new and hitherto unsuspected side of her personality. It took four years to compose “MIZIKI”, probably her boldest, most personal album and one which pays homage to the two principal causes she supports: a rich, generous and unified Africa and the strength of African women. In her words and on stage, Dobet, the standard-bearer of a new generation of daring and determined Africans, celebrates the valiant and kind woman. Dobet loves the music of Africa (Yemi Alade, Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie) but is equally enthusiastic about Björk or Christine and all the other “Queens”. Faithful to the languages of Africa – Côte d’Ivoire has 72 dialects – for this album – possibly her best yet – she concentrates on Bété, her mother tongue. Dobet has definitely reached a turning point and has left labels behind to express her frankest and most sincere emotion more precisely. “I want to make people dream while remaining a free artist”.
I had the honor of chatting with Dobet ahead of her August 15th concert, “The Dobet Gnahore Select Session” part of The Sessions at McPike Park 2019 and her August 16th event at the North Street Cabaret. Dobet and I get into what her audiences can expect once she and er group hit the stage. We talk about her hope for a strong and powerful African woman and the goal of assisting with uniting Africa as one. She shares with me how her latest album, her baby, “MIZIKI” went from a thought to a movement.