First broadcast date: 11 April 2019
“You never know in advance what you’ll fall in love with”.
Since its creation in 2004, Nø Førmat! has evolved according to the principle of welcoming, without stylistic constraint, a variety of musical forms that reflect the wealth of our increasingly creolised and interrelated world. A way of affirming that music is a lot more than just a simple product that you can market and spread by an algorithm: it’s also a universal language, that offers human beings the chance to hear each other, over and above their differences.
The show will browse 15 years of musical adventures, from Gonzales to Kasse Mady Diabaté, from Blick Bassy to ALA.NI, from Mélissa Laveaux to Totobonalokua… Adventures made of encounters, a lot of encounters. Fidel Fourneyron and the Cuban musicians (¿Que Vola?), Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal, Oumou Sangaré and Sampha (Minata Waraba remix), Mamani Keita and Nicolas Repac, Kouyaté and Neerman. But also adventures made of telling stories. Mandingo ancient stories told by Kasse Mady Diabaté, Haitian old songwriting told by Melissa Laveaux, Cameroonian indépendantiste Ruben Um Nyobè’s life and values told by Blick Bassy, and so on.. The more the music is globalised the more we think the context around it is important to tell. That’s why we also focus on documentaries (¿Que Vola? series), or books (Blick Bassy 1958 by Andy Morgan).
Gerald Toto’s music sways to the rhythms of life.
The songs on his new album don’t shout or seek to batter you over the head. Like all the best music, they insinuate their way quietly into your brain like ear worms with a benevolent and beguiling subtlety. Gentle and lilting yet lithesome and full of bold nuance, the music Toto makes on Sway takes us on an imaginary journey to a world that has time to stop and stare and where the frenetic din of modernity is hushed to a murmur, his songs seemingly plucked from an infinite bowl of fresh air and sunshine as they wrap the listener in a sweet caress of timeless reverie.
Like all the best music, the songs on Sway refuse simple categorisation, a cultural melting pot of acoustic folk, jazz, soul, pop and blues with cosmopolitan borders that embrace Creole and Caribbean flavours. The rhythms of life, plucked and strummed and given poetic voice by a master of the understated. For if quiet is the new loud, Toto’s voice is blessed with an elegant eloquence that demands to be heard as his songs whisper and sway in an emotional language that is as universal as it is engaging.