In 2006, blind kondi (thumb piano) player Sorie Kondi was surviving by busking on the streets of Freetown, Sierra Leone, abandoned by relatives and friends who had fled the rebel takeover of the city in the late ‘90s. Demos for his debut studio album had also been lost during that time. His sound was marked by his electrified Kondi, run through a small distorted amplifier that he carried on his back whilst performing on the street.
Since then, Sorie has recorded and finished five albums in total in Freetown, using whatever means available to him, culminating in the ‘Without Money No Family’ album, which happened to catch the ear of US producer / DJ Chief Boima (also of Sierra Leonean descent) after chancing upon a YouTube link.
The two joined forces as Kondi Band, combining Sorie Kondi’s traditionalist performances with Boima’s globally-informed electronic production. The duo released an EP this year on Strut, recently performed acclaimed sets to thousands at Transmusicales and Womex, and have received accolades from tastemakers including Gilles Peterson, leading to a recent takeover of Worldwide FM by Boima. With a Kondi Band album, ‘Salone’, coming in 2017, Boima has created a free mix to showcase Kondi’s incredible history.
As well as collecting songs from across Sorie Kondi’s recorded music career, this mix also includes one original and two remixes of songs from the forthcoming debut Kondi Band album. The mix is available now for free download on the Kondi Band Bandcamp.
Keep up with Kondi band on Facebook as they tour and prepare to release their debut album.