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Daby Toure Biography

There are certain people in life who have such a unique energy that it demands to be shared. Whether he appears solo or with his full band, Daby Touré never fails to astound audiences with his ethereal voice, masterful guitar work and catchy original songs. He illuminates the darkest of concert halls with his joyful performances and infectious love of music. A marvelous lyricist, composer of accessible melodic hooks, endearing performer and virtuoso guitarist, Daby Touré reaches deeply into the hearts of listeners with his approachable and unique style of music.

 

Daby Touré is a child of many worlds. A musical and linguistic polyglot, Touré creates an elegant sonic mixture that merges the linguistic inflections of the six languages he speaks. His music is a puzzle whose pieces, once assembled, form a comprehensive map of the world. It builds bridges between cultures, crossing borders and gives life to a poetic language and a universal sound.

 

Daby spent his childhood in Mauritania, a country in western Africa. As a boy in Mauritania he was an avid listener to the radio and was influenced by The Police, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. He taught himself the basics of guitar and from an early age felt instinctively that his destiny was to become a musician.

 

Daby moved to Paris when he was a teenager. His passion for music gradually drew him from his business studies and he started playing in the Parisian music scene. He founded the duo Touré-Touré with his cousin Omar, and released a well-received album Laddé in 2000 that led to touring across Europe and the United States.

 

After many years of solo experimentation, playing and recording Daby met with electro musician and producer Cyrille Dufay in 2003.  This meeting was to prove pivotal and led to the making of Daby's first solo album Diam, which convinced Peter Gabriel to sign him to his British record label Real World Records in 2004. Before long, Daby was opening for Peter Gabriel on his "Growing Up" world tour. 

 

Diam received praise from media worldwide. Billboard raved, "Touré's music evokes modern and traditional modes of life: It's as influenced by the sounds coming out of today's Senegal, Mali, Paris and New York as it is favored by the traditional music of his native Mauritania. Touré is a rising star." Liberation called it "One of the best albums of the year," and Glamour warned, "Watch out, this record might make you happy."In 2006, Daby Touré was nominated for the BBC World Music Awards in the category "Discovery of the Year”.

 

He continued working with Peter Gabriel’s Real World label on his second album, which included some impressive collaborations. Ben Finlay, a recording & mixing engineer who had previously worked with Peter Gabriel, Sting, Simply Red, Jeff Beck and Robert Plant was part of the process, as was Tom Oliver, an engineer whose has worked with Sinead O’ Connor, U2, Seun Kuti, Tony Allen and Charlie Winston. 

 

In 2007, Daby released  Stereo Spirit  on Real World Records, and continued to earn praise from international media. Songlines wrote that the album, "showcases Touré 's impossibly beautiful wide-ranging voice to perfection. Stereo Spirit is packed with catchy hooks and lyrics that seem to demand a singalong, no matter what language they are delivered in. A barrier-leaping album from a rising star."

 

2009 saw Daby heading in a different musical direction, teaming up with African-American bluesman Skip McDonald for the EP Call My Name. The US magazine Sing Out! described the EP as "neither African music nor blues, but instead something that pulls from both and also from rock, a touch of pop and even dub for a unique, appealing and - it has to be said - quite commercial sound. The two voices and styles complement each other perfectly, and the songs they've created - for they seem more like creations than compositions - summon up echoes of their histories, but end up in a hybrid that's essentially completely new." The EP was widely praised; the British newspaper The Guardian gave it five stars.

 

Daby's collaboration with McDonald was just one of many cross-cultural efforts. In addition to Peter Gabriel and Skip McDonald, Daby has recorded and performed with many artists from around the world.

 

After leaving Real World, Daby signed to Universal Music. His 2012 release Lang (u) age saw Daby singing largely in French and led to collaborations with French pop icons Francis Cabrel and Maxime Le Forestier.

 

Since 2012, Daby has been invited to sing at each of the fours corners of the globe, namely: the Grand Prix Formula 1 in Singapore alongside Bob Geldof and Rihanna; the launch of the America’s Cup in Italy with Enzo Avitabile; and as a supporting act for Peter Gabriel’s “Back To Front” world tour.

 

"I was born in Africa" states Daby. "And all the traditional music I picked up when I was young is still in me and that doesn't change. But in my music I am still searching, and mixing, and trying things and that's what I am doing now. I have travelled far from the 'traditional' or 'folkloric' music of my country."

 

Despite Daby's growing recognition, his experience with a major label led to frustration and a retreat to evaluate his future direction. After starting fresh with new management and returning to the more familial terrain of an independent label, Daby Touré returns in 2015 with a phenomenal new album on Cumbancha and a renewed creative energy. 

 
 
 

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