Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Golden Voice

It is with great pleasure that I link you to my career profile of Salif Keita. This is a story I chased for more than six months. I found out late last year that he was going to be playing Toronto for the first time in 8 years, and knew this was a golden opportunity to do a major story on his complicated career trajectory. As you may have noticed, I like to advocate for artists and issues I'm passionate about. A "timeline" in Exclaim brings with it a showcase of three of the artists' essential albums in HMV stores across the country - in the front of the store, not in the back corner which is the traditional dumping ground for any world music discs.

Keita has overcome a uniquely traumatic childhood to formulate an improbably successful career in music. He truly had nothing to lose, as the story indicates. Throughout the piece, I wanted to stress that his music, until recently, was a very acquired taste. Many would dismiss his albums as glossy and contrived world pop (even as these same armchair critics would profess unironic pleasure in homegrown contrived pop music).

But you can make up your own mind if you see him at Harbourfront on July 6.


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