In the tropical forest adjoining Grande Savane a river creaks, the runoff of which drowns out the rustling of leaves, the roar of insects and the bird’s cry. The song of a man, more powerful than that of the waters, rises to the top of the old trees. Polobi, balanced on a rock jutting from the waves, launches a melody towards the infinity of the sky.
And he has sung in this fashion for more than half a century, since that day when, as a child, he heard Guy Conquète sing at the town fair and won a five-franc piece for sketching his first dance steps.
His mother is horrified and asks him to stay away from the drums — this ‘old niggers affair.’ But the child is fascinated. And so it’s into the depths of the forest that he goes to strengthen his voice, measuring himself against the elements and drawing the telluric energy to nourish his songs.
Very quickly, he took part in the léwoz, lent his voice to different gwoka groups, throwing himself into a trance through the hypnotic dances. But until now, his compositions exist only on simple cassette tape recordings.
Then, in 2020, Polobi finds himself in a recording studio amongst the nest musicians in Guadeloupe, and embarks upon a collaboration with producer Doctor L for a daring album that renews the dynamic century of Gwoka.
Album to be release in the Autumn 2022 on RealWorld Records