Music as an aesthetic sound experience has only been known in Burkina Faso since the 20th century. Music traditionally has its seat in cultic or sacred life. Stories were sung by griots.
The balafon, tuned in pentatonic, with up to 21 bars is widespread in the west of Burkina Faso, especially among the Senufo (immatricial cultural heritage of UNESCO), while in the east and in the Mossi region traditional music is produced from drums and flutes. Music is always associated with movement. Flutes are sometimes only tuned to one note. The melody is created when several flutists blow their different notes synchronously with common rhythmic walking movements, each in his own place. In Ouagadougou, there is a museum of musical instruments in the Paspanga district.
Georges Ouédraogo, who died in February 2012, shaped Burkinabe music as a singer and composer for almost five decades. In the 1960s he was the drummer in ” Volta-Jazz ” and – after staying at the “Jazz club quartier latin” in Treichville / Abidjan – trundled through West Germany in the 70s with the Caribbean-African group Bozambo. When he returned to his own country, he let generations of burkinabé dance with slow or fast beats. He also incorporated elements of the warba(the traditional dance of the Mossi) into its contemporary pop-like rhythms and sang in French, Mooré and Dioula. Georges Ouedraogo was voted “best artist of all time” by Kundé in 2000. In 2003 he created a hit with ” Rosalie ” that still worries Burkinabe ears to this day. His nickname in Mooré was “Gandaogo (= he who dares) National”.
Three months later, on May 3rd, 2012, the virtuoso saxophonist Thomas Tiendrébéogo, who founded “L`Echo Volta” in 1963 and ” Les suprêmes Kombemba ” in 1975 and with them enriched the jazz scene in Upper Volta in the 60s and 70s, also died.
Black So Man achieved international fame in rock and reggae music. The sharp system critic died in 2002 of the consequences of a car accident. Another well-known reggae artist has been Zêdess for 20 years.
Like Georges Ouédraogo, Amety Meria also received the Prix de Kundé d´or (“golden guitar”), as did Sami Rama, who was born in Abidjan and whose clips have achieved great popularity. Amety Meria presented her new album in July 2014 under the name ” Djanto “. In it she sings on topics such as faith, dignity, zeal for work, loyalty.
Victor Démé, whose mother was Griot, melodically combines traditional mandika music with modern rhythms of folk jazz and salsa sounds. His 2008 album ” Victor Démé, Chappa Blues Records ” received international acclaim. ” Deli ” followed in 2010. Démé died in September 2015.
Idak Bassave, who comes from a well-known family of musicians, is also heard a lot. Dez Altino won the 13th Prix de Kundé d´or 2013. In 2014, Alif Naba received the 14th Prix de Kundé d´or for the first time. On April 24th, 2015, the 2015 Kundé Prize was awarded to the reggae singer Sana Bob, who is also known as “crieur public”. The originality of his musical creativity was highlighted. The 2016 Kundé Prize went to Dicko Fils, 2017 to Imilo le chanceux and 2018 to Hawa Boussim. Bil Aka Kora has already won the Prix de Kundé d´or twice win. In his “Afrobeat” he draws on traditional dance and music from his Kassena tribe, creating a new style, “Djongo Music”.
In “Jazz in Ouaga” Patrick Kabré is instantly setting new accents.
In the field of hip hop, Smockey (Serge Martin Bambara) has been in public light for 15 years. Its name is a contraction from “se moquer” (= “to make fun of”). Smockey founded the citizens’ movement ” Le balai citoyen ” together with the singer Sams´K Le Jah (see History State / Politics). Sams´K Le Jah makes hip hop and reggae music. His topics are politically explosive (video). He is a great admirer of Thomas Sankara. Faso Kombat and Black Maarabouts are also very well known in hip-hop. Faso Kombat won the Prix de Kundé d´or in 2011 and in 2013 released her album “Zem-Zem” with great success. The duo Faso Kombat split up on 09.09.2014.
Yeleen (= “light”) is a duo of the Chad-born griot and sculptor Mawndoé and the Burkinabe rapper and poet Salif (Smarty) (interview). You interpret in a melodious hip-hop and pick up socially critical topics in French, Arabic or African language. Her musical inspiration is a unique synthesis of the north and south of the country as well as of tradition and modernity. Yeleen received the Prix de Kundé d´or in 2008. After 10 years together, Smarty is now pursuing a solo career. He received the Prix Découvertes RFI 2013 (Interview).
Wendy (Interview) sings in her 18-track album ” Gal Yam ” on Mooré on topics of abandonment in social turmoil.
In addition to other singers, Floby, Imilo le chanceux, Awa Boussim, Dicko Fils and Dez Altino are currently the big stars in Burkina Faso.
According to thereligionfaqs, the music scene in Burkina Faso is also heavily influenced by the culture of the Ivory Coast. Examples are hits like ” Premier Gaou ” or the dance to ” Coupé décolé “.