The traditional West African sounds of balofon and ngoni are combined with keyboards and computer programming by Mali-born vocalist and drummer Abdoulaye Diabate. While rooted in the Bombara sounds of such Wassolou singers as Oumou Sangare, Diabate is known for the extremely raw sounds of his vocals. Diabate began singing and playing drums at tribal celebrations at a very early age. He sharpened his performance skills as a member of various musical theater troupes. In 1976, Diabate joined the Orchestre Regionale de Segou. His widest early exposure came as the lead singer of Koule Star from Koutalia and Kene Star from Sikasso. Together with Kine Star, Diabate placed first in the Biennales competition. Although he's recorded under his own name since 1988, Diabate continues to be accompanied by members of Kine Star.
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