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Country Senegal Genres fusion hiphop urban Website Festival Sauti za Busara 2007
See interview and pictures of Didier Awadi at Sauti za Busra 2007 http://www.busaramusic.com/feature/Didier.htm
Didier Awadi is the most prominent artist to have emerged from Africa's francophone rap scene. Awadi, who won RFI's "Musiques du Monde" award in 2004, has established himself as a veritable pioneer, pushing back borders and opening new paths for a sound that has, in recent years, been adopted as the music of an entire generation of African youth and their counterparts across the world.
Working as a leader of the group, Positive Black Soul, Awadi recorded a stack of acclaimed and accomplished albums, distinctly Senegalese, yet open to influences from Europe and the US. Awadi has fed the traditional culture of his ancestors into his dynamic rap, creating a music based on genuine roots and consciousness-raising messages. Didier Awadi stands up and speaks out.
Didier Awadi was born in Dakar in 1969. Bitten by the hiphop bug in his early teens, Awadi launched a career as a rapper and DJ in the mid-80s and soon began to make a name for himself on the burgeoning local scene with his first group, Didier Awadi's Syndicate. In 1989, Awadi invited Amadou Barry (aka Doug E Tee) to his birthday party and Positive Black Soul was born of the meeting. The duo soon went on to forge a huge reputation on the local Dakar scene thanks to a series of popular concerts. In 1992 PBS contributed a track to a compilation sponsored by the French Cultural Centre and their fame spread further afield. French rap star MC Solaar, who was on holiday in Dakar at the time, was so impressed by the duo's work that he invited them to support him on his upcoming French tour. Meanwhile, back home the dire economic situation of the rap scene meant they had to wait until 1994 before they could release a debut cassette, which they financed and produced themselves. The album, entitled Boul Falé, strengthened their popularity and paved the way for collaborations with Africa Fête and Baaba Maal, who introduced PBS to directors at the Mango Island label. PBS embarked on an extensive tour of Europe, where their live performances went down a storm. They released their first CD, Salaam, which is to this day considered a global hiphop classic.
Salaam demonstrated songwriting inspiration and militant fervour. Over the following years Positive Black Soul went on to bring the house down all the way from Johannesburg to Paris and New York. Run Cool was soon released, on WEA. In 2003 New York-Paris-Dakar, an album that had previously only been available as a cassette on the Senegalese market, was released. The album featured a host of guest stars including KRS One.
After another round of non-stop concerts and international tours, Awadi and Doug E Tee decided to take a temporary break from Positive Black Soul and devote time to personal projects instead.
Didier Awadi went on to record a solo album, Parole d'Honneur, which was released for the Senegal market in 2001. This work reflects the pioneering rapper's continuing commitment to pan-Africanism and reflections on a host of topical themes such as third world debt, political tensions and the plunder of Africa's heritage.
At the end of 2004, Awadi performed at the World Music Expo (WOMEX) in Germany. Soon after, he released his latest album, Un Autre Monde est Possible. Whether working alone or with different international artists, Awadi still has a message for the world, and what happens next is up to us.