Victor Démé Victor Démé

Victor Démé Victor Démé
Victor Démé's debut record was 30 years in the making and the good news is that it was worth the wait. Once a rising star in the nightclubs of Côte d'Ivoire and Burkina, the tailor disappeared from music for a number of years before returning to singing, initially as a cover artist working on material by fellow Mandingo singer Salif Keita. But with this new record, Démé has proven the gentle beauty of his compositions. Démé's songs have an earthy purity: the delicateness of "Chérie" or the haunting "Deni Kemba" are ballads supported only by acoustic guitar, percussion and, in the case of the latter, a trombone. The bluesy "Djôn'maya," the album's folksy centrepiece, oozes with soul. Faster tracks such as "Toungan" have Latin influences and the two traditional tunes that finish the record work to ground the rest of the material in context. (Chapa Blues)