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World On Your Street: The Global Music Challenge
Mosi Conde
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Describe the atmosphere and live music at a local pub, restaurant, festival, church or temple, club night.... inspire other people to check it out!

Musician: Mosi Conde

Location: London

Instruments: Kora / voice

Music: Traditional Manding

Listen to Mosi Conde in the World on Your Street tent at WOMAD 2003

'Sabunuma talks about the fact that everybody is looking for their opportunity in life'

How I came to this music:

Everybody in my family in Conakry (Guinea) is a griot and all of us play music. In fact my mother's family is Diabaté, which is a well-known griot name. I started playing kora when I was only 6 yeas old and now I'm 27. A very high level of skill is demanded of you as a griot and I was fifteen by the time I was able to play with my family band, which is called Messenger of Sakaran.

Mosi Conde in the World on Your Street tent, WOMAD 2003At that time we started to travel all around Guinea, playing in various places, doing all sorts of functions such as weddings, soirées and also gigs in clubs. We organised big parties for occasions like birthdays, Christmas and New Year and we played festivals of African music.

After my work with Messenger of Sakaran, I played with a band called Kalim Star and then I moved to the Ivory Coast and joined a band called Titimba Jazz, when I was about 20. I stayed with them for about five years in Abidjan. Again we'd be playing the same kind of functions as I had with my family, although we also travelled to Liberia and Ghana. The music we played was varied and included reggae and traditional African folk styles, so it wasn't strictly speaking a 'jazz' band. After that I went back to Conakry briefly and played in two bands simultaneously ­ Sili Authentique and Kalim Star. Then I came to London, so I'm still learning English.

Where I play:

I do a lot of different types of things here in England. I play in restaurants, pubs, parties and festivals. For instance, my music is in quite a lot of demand for the weddings of English people who have an ear for African music. I've just got back from doing one in Dorset. I play for charity functions too, but I haven't yet played in America or Europe.

A favourite song:

I've chosen Sabunuma. This song doesn't come from the griot tradition; it's one I wrote myself. I do quite a lot of composing. Sabunuma talks about the fact that everybody is looking for their opportunity in life. And this comes from God.

If you're rich, give thanks to God for your good fortune. If you're poor, don't cry. God loves everybody, but still, everybody has a different life. If you're a President or a King or Queen, or if God has given you luck and as a result you become rich, don't become arrogant. Don't think you're better than everybody else. Don't ever forget, you must have compassion for other people who are less fortunate. People have different levels in life and not everybody is going to receive things from God at the same time. But God will always love you.
Click here for Hande Domac's storyClick here for Mosi Conde's storyClick here for Rachel McLeod's story

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