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Artistic Minds.Sia Tolno

Guinean artist Sia Tolno tackles the genre with aplomb.

The Yoruba, funk, jazz fusion of Afrobeat is rough, rowdy and political. It was introduced at the end of the 60s by the prince of the Nigerian resistance, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Yet Guinea’s Sia Tolno is not afraid to take up Fela’s torch. Her third album, African Woman, challenges male supremacy in a forceful style derived from Ghanaian ‘high-life’.

Who is this #remarkablewoman ?

Sia Tolno was born 1975 in Guéckédou, Guinea, but grew up in Freetown, Sierra Leone. She was born as a KIssi, a tribal group divided over the borders of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Her father taught her French and pidgin-English. She was treated harshly as a child, but her writing and poetry helped her to carry on. Then, just as she was wondering whether to study IT or drama, she found herself caught up in the war. She was twenty when the forces commanded by Liberia’s Charles Taylor plunged the region into bloody conflict. In desperation, she fled to Guinea, although she barely knew her family there and did not speak French.

The musical backing largely stays away from programming and canned beats, a natural approach suiting Tolno’s similarly earthy pipes. Some songs address hardships of African life that Tolno has experienced or witnessed, but there’s an ample amount of danceable arrangements to keep things from wallowing.

Pic & credit #siatolno

Sources Slow Walk Music.⁠

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