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Playing it his way

Vieux Farka Touré

Vieux Farka Touré  

The Hendrix of the Sahara Vieux Farka Touré pays homage to India’s music and shares insight into what goes into his soundscape

For Malian folk fusion and blues guitarist and singer Vieux Farka Touré, coming to Bengaluru is like coming home. “People love music here. It’s the same in my home country and any place that welcomes me and my music is home to me.”

Brought to the city by menswear brand Blackberrys in its annual flagship event, the Blackberrys Sharp Nights – ‘Masters of World Music’, the artiste performed to a packed audience in a fantastic concert at High Ultra Lounge with an eclectic show of Malian folk fusion and blues.

With his dazzle, fiery blues and his lilting melodies, Vieux has had a long and illustrious career following in the footsteps of his father and legendary Malian guitar player, the late Ali Farka Touré. With live performances in big stages like the opening concert in South Africa’s June 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Vieux brings energetic nuances and charismatic tones to his guitar backed by a luminous voice that is easily captivating, to say the least. Bringing his rare musical talent and guitar virtuoso with a distinct style that always pays homage to the past while looking towards the future, the Malian singer is popularly known as ‘The Hendrix of the Sahara’ and is making waves on the global music scene with his signature acoustic repertoire.

Taking time off before his gig and commenting on Indian music, Vieux says the rich tradition and culture of the subcontinent has always held a special place in his heart. “Musicians like me love the music of this land. We love the way musicians work here and there is a lot we learn during our visits and interactions here.” On what he brings to the stage, he says, “It is better I don’t say exactly. Sometimes, or actually, most often, performing live music takes a life of its own. It will keep changing. I am playing all the time and for me, it’s very important to go with the heart.”

At the heart of his music is passion and concern for others, he says. “Today, there are so many problems in the world. As a musician, I feel the responsibility is on us to ease this burden off people. I see musicians becoming the caregivers of nations and comforting people with the power and magic of music. That’s what is in my heart too.”

Reaching out to people is Vieux’s forte. “I like leaving an impact. Maybe the next time I come here, people will spread the word that my music is good. When my audiences go home after the concert, they should remember the music as long as they can. Because when they come to my concert, I want them to take back home something very special. ”

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2020 2:21:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/hendrix-of-the-sahara-vieux-farka-tour-pays-homage-to-indias-music/article6742288.ece

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