Zantogola


Zantogola is an education and musicianship project, the brainchild of drummer, percussionist and songwriter Alex Dayo from Burkina Faso. In 1985 Alex founded Wountey, a collective of musicians who created a new fusion of traditional and modern music called Plenguedey. After working with Wountey in Africa and Europe for over 20 years, Alex moved to London in 2008, where he set up a drumming school.

The project has brought together musicians of all ages from Africa, Asia and Europe. Over the last two years they have been recording, a co-production between the Alex Dayo Drumming School and Matteo Boyero’s independent label Wahever Records. They released their first album Gùndo Fara earlier this year. Now they are sharing their music across the country – they are available for gigs, festivals, master class workshops and community events.

Plenguedey music takes its inspiration and message from the West African heritage of popular rhythm and song, and fuses elements of mandingue, highlife, and afrobeat with hip hop, reggae and jazz. Along with the traditional Plenguedey drums (congas, djembes and tamas) there are ngoni, kit drums, balafon, bass, guitar and a brass section.

Zantogola is the name of a character in Burkina Faso’s folklore. The name means “the greatest in everyone” but also inspires a message of humbleness. In these dark times, Zantogola stands against growing nationalism and the tightening of borders to create a spirit of common purpose and brotherhood.

Their songs are sung in the West African languages Bwamu, Dyula, Bambara, and Lobi, in French and in English. They speak of the concerns of the black population worldwide, of their joy and their pain – but also of their reflections on contemporary life, and their place between tradition and modernity.

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Copyright © Alex Dayo 2015