African Music Encyclopedia

 

Alpha Blondy

 

Alpha Blondy, the Rasta of Cocody, was born Sedou Kone in Dimbokoro, Cote d'Ivoire, in 1953. Heavily influenced by the music of Bob Marley, Blondy considered himself a Rasta at an early age. So early, in fact, that he recorded six Reggae tunes while still in his teens. Blondy's parents were so concerned about his devotion to Reggae and the Rasta lifestyle that they committed him to a psychiatric hospital for two years!

Early in 1970 Reggae began to be popular in West Africa and Blondy's popularity grew to the point where, in the early '80s he recorded his first single, Brigidier Sabari. In 1983, he followed with his first album, Jah Glory and began touring all over Africa. It was at this point that Alpha made a pilmrimage to Jamaica to record with The Wailers at Tuff Gong Studios. The results of his efforts were the huge hit album, Cocody Rock, followed by Jerusalem and then Apartheid is Nazism.

Blondy sings in Dioula, English, French, Arabic, and Hebrew. His band, The Solar System, is likewise international, with members hailing from Cameroon, England, France, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, and Togo. Alpha Blondy and The Solar System are tight and hot, and Alpha's status as the premiere African Reggae star is richly deserved.


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