Standing beside the Niger River esplanade in downtown, Bamako Leila Gobi waves to people in the passing cars. She smiles and laughs with them. Walking down the street she is greeted warmly by strangers.
From the distant provincial city Menaka, she has become a successful artist here in the capitol of Mali. 2017'is Leila Gobi's second album on Clermont Music. It was recorded in Hampathe Bah Studio, on the second floor of a group of buildings off the main road in a suburb of western Bamako. The sessions were intimate. The tracks were laid without effects, clean. Leila wanted to produce an album that brought a new dimension to her music.
The problem was how to create this new sound with only the basic tools available in Mali. It is almost impossible for musicians there to find the equipment available to the average westerner. The talent is there, just not the hardware. And electric power failures and poor communications infrastructure interrupt regularly.
The final sounds were found in the studio while mixing in the synthesizers and electronic effects. Tracks were mixed and mastered in Bamako, New York, and Los Angeles. Remaining faithful to the underlying roots of the music, 2017'bridges genres.
The album forges the origins of trance, beats, and loops with new technology, a fusion of many influences. And across it all, Leila Gobi's unmistakable voice shines through.
Personnel: Leila Walet Gobi - vocals; Khalil M. Touré - guitars; Amadou Dembélé - bass; Abdourhamane Salaha - calabash, conga, percussion.