King N'Gom (Senegal)

King Meissa N'Gom is a Senegalese salsero. His father was a very famous politician. His brothers and sisters have done great studies like him who went to the "Ecole Normale Supérieur" (Superior High School). But his love for music made him become the black sheep of his family. He began his career during the end of sixties and recorded several Afro-Cuban titles sung in Spanish. In 1975, he went to Benin where he had to play at the Appolo club, a legendary live music club in West Africa. He had to stay three days in Cotonou, he will stay three years and become a real star, playing with Danialou Sagbohan's band, the Djiki band, and recording few tracks. Then he left Benin for Mexico where he remained ten years, singing salsa in a hôtel. 

King Meissa N'Gom est un salsero Sénégalais issu d'une très grande famille de politiciens. Tous ses frères et soeurs ont fait de grandes études tout comme lui qui fait l'école Normale Supérieure en France. Mais son amour de la musique le fait devenir le mouton noir de la famille. Il débute sa carrière durant la fin des années 70s et enregistre plusieurs 45T de musique Afro-Cubaine chantés en Espagnol. En 1975, il part au Bénin, pour trois jours, où il doit jouer dans le club Appolo, un club mythique en Afrique de l'Ouest. Il restera trois ans, avec l'orchestre de Danialou Sagbohan, le Djiki Band, et enregistera plusieurs titres. Puis il quitte le Bénin pour le Mexique ou il restera 10 ans comme salsero dans un orchestre du Club Med.

Because of his father who did not want him to become a musician, King N'Gom went to Ivory Coast where he recorded his first tracks in 1970 on Djima Records label. On the first record, he sings the inevitable "Guantanamera" and the title "Fatema", a guaguanco that I really like.

On the second Djima record, he sings a son ("Param Pam Pam") and guaracha ("M'Bakham Diop") with still a hard understanding spanish. But his voice and particulary the flute make us forget the language.

This third EP posted by Worldservice blog was recorded in 1976 in Cotonou with the orchestra Les Perles Noires ("the black pearls"). I really like this one and put the link from Worldservice.

Thirty years after the Appollo club, King N'gom is invited in Cotonou, by the owner of the club, to play with Danialou Sagbohan for the wedding of his only daughter. Backed by the Black Santiago, this live recording was unforgetable. Sagbohan is playing kettledrum and King N'Gom 's voice is better than ever. They play "El Manicero" and "El Salsero de Brazzaville", afro-latin songs that King had not sang for 15 years. Enjoy this great bonus...


Dolf Motz said...

Fantastic post Oro! Wonderful music.

Jaime said...

fort agréable, oro. merci!

dial africa said...

Thank you, Oro for this really speacial post.