AWALÉ – London-based band Awalé returns with a new sound, Senegalese soul. Biram Seck’s soaring voice evokes messages of love and peace, underpinned by heavenly poly-rhythm groove explorations. Intense and spiritual Sabar Senegalese percussion and Afro-Latin drums conversations, weaving intricate guitar patterns and horn lines with catchy bass riffs. Like a spinning kaleidoscope of sounds, each tune travels on a varied musical journey, from afrobeat to soul, deep Afro-jazz to Latin. Awalé is on a mission to experience happiness together in these fractured times.
‘A truly magical and uplifting cross-cultural collaboration, bringing together Afro-latin, funk and soul elements with a Senegalese twist. The wonderful voice of Biram Seck and Thibaut Remy’s compositions make for an unmissable combo. Must See!’ - Tim Garcia (Jazz FM/Musica Macondo)
‘Most Impressive, echoes a lot of greats like Orchestra Baobab and Youssou N’Dour but with very much it’s own sound’ - Jamie Renton (DJ, fROOTS)
Misik - The Music (and the musicians):
The son of a Gawlo (minstrel caste), Senegalese singer and songwriter Biram Seck has a voice truly unique for it’s raw husky quality and deep emotion. He has woven enthralling melodies and a captivating feeling in the music, demonstrating the wide reach and adaptability of Senegalese singing styles. He sings in Wolof, French and English.
We draw inspiration from traditional styles embodied by the music of greats such as James Brown, Orchestra Baobab from Senegal, the king of Nigerian afrobeat Fela Kuti and great Latin bands such as Fania All Stars. The compositions of French guitarist Thibaut Remy are instinctive and playful, each allowing space for their own universe to emerge.
This is brought to life by a great combination of band members:
Senegalese Kaw Secka and Medoune Ndiaye both play exhuberant Sabar drums and have played with the greatest such as Youssou N'dour. They bring intense, spiritual and irresistible poly rhythm conversations in conjunction with British drummer Ben Brown.
Having studied at the Royal Academy of Music, Ben's playing encompasses anything from jazz, pop music & hip hop to electronic music, reggae & Jewish music with an extensive knowledge of African & Latin American music. He has already established himself as a sought after drummer, for his rock solid groove, subtle touch and reactivity. Check out his band Waaju!
We also have in the team Yusuf Ahmed who shares drumming duties with Ben. Yusuf has an incredible touch and spirit that transpires in his playing through and through
Combined with Kevin Toublant on bass, really makes up for a heavenly groove. Graduated from the Conservatory Of Rennes (France) in 2011, then moved to London in 2012. He has played with a broad range of artists: Roisin Murphy, Earl Thomas, Ky, Guang, Leroy Duncun, Fuse Box City, Wonderboy, Doigt Droit, The Dowtown Dukes, Republik, Human Feax, Abbeon Fat Track. Check out his project MadMadMad!
Also on bass duties is Nigerian Michael Idowu. His CV reads as a who's who of afrobeat and gospel music, his grooves are tight and soulful, and improvisations inspired and tasteful!
Last but not least are the horn players, they're integral to the music of Awalé. John Martin on saxophone is long established on the jazz scene. He is a member of the critically acclaimed contemporary jazz folk septet Metamorphic and the Dr Das Dubnoiz Coalition, the side project of Dr Das, the bass player and founding member of the Asian Dub Foundation.
Laurence Wilkins on trumpet is studying jazz at the Royal Academy of Music. He is already a part of the new London jazz scene making waves with his project Zeñel.
So we have a band that makes a rich multi layered music, bringing so many combined influences and making for exhilarating live shows.