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Manou Gallo : “I am proud to be a world citizen”

By RNW Africa Desk
Created 2 November 2010 23:35

Manou Gallo

The Ivorian bass player/singer Manou Gallo says music is everything for her and that it helps her forget about her pains and tough times.

1. What makes you tick?

Music! Music! Music!

2. If there is ONE place you would like to take people to, where would that be?

Divo, 200 km from the Ivorian capital, Abidjan. My village…The place where I began with my music. Because there the earth is red. Because there the material side of things doesn’t exist. Because there, the people are just themselves and like to dance and sing. A place where it is always warm.

3. What CD or book would you bring along for the journey?

Can I bring my bass or a guitar? We can sit around a fire together with the women from the village, sing, dance. Forget about our pains, the tough times. Let us be carried by the music. I am a LIVE woman!

4. Do you have a favourite website?

I am no specialist on the internet. Except for bass music. I often surf the net to watch and listen what’s going on. Almost every single
musician is on YouTube.

5. Is there a person you call at least 2 or 3 times a day?

My manager. I call him 2, 3, 4, 5, even 6 times a day. We are always on Skype. It is someone I have a special bond with. He is not my
boyfriend, but it is someone who believes hard in what I do. He is also my big brother.

6. Who or what makes you laugh the most?

I love French comedians. I like when people make me laugh because I cannot do the same for others. I am more of the introverted type.

7. A decisive moment in your life?

When I left Ivory Coast to come to Belgium. It was the first time I was leaving my continent to move to an unknown place. I was coming to
Europe, a place I always saw on TV.

8. Being a rolemodel yourself, who is YOUR rolemodel?

I have two of them. My ex-producer in Ivory Coast, Marcellin Yacé. May peace be upon him. And the amazing bass player, Richard Bona. I
vibrate when he plays.

9. Your first association with the Netherlands?

Manou Gallo | thumb

The first time was with Marie Daulne’s band Zap Mama. This year, we are touring the country to present my latest album, Lowlin.
10. Are you proud to be an African? I am proud to be a world citizen. I have had the chance to travel. So, if today I am considered to be Dutch or Chinese, fair enough. Nevermind the country, the most important for me is that I am a world citizen. If tomorrow, I am asked to represent the Netherlands for a good cause, I would do it.

Manou N’Guessan Gallo is a musician, born August 31, 1972 in Divo, Ivory Coast.
Brought up by her grandmother in Ivory Coast, Gallo first performed at Ivory Coast, Gallo first performed at the age of 12 when she put on a
show with friends from her village.

The tale of a little witch went on to become a success, touring in various, African countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo and Benin as well
as recording four albums. When the group Woya eventually stopped, Gallo followed Marcellin Yacé to Abidjan. He took her under his wing, gave her her first bass guitar and taught her about recording.

Between 1993 and 1996, she also performed in theatre and dance troupes as well as playing on an album by Ray Lema.
She eventually met the tour manager of Zap Mama, and was offered the chance to tour with them in Europe.
She performed with them for six years from 1997, as well as appearing with the Tambours deBrazza.
She eventually formed her own group, Le Djiboi, and toured extensively. Her debut album, “Dida” was released on the IglooMondo label in 2003, followed by “Manou Gallo” in 2007. She sings in Dida, French and English.

Published on Radio Netherlands Worldwide

25 Sep 2011 | Press


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