We're taking a hop, skip, and jump across the pond today, settling our gaze on a tiny, landlocked country in West Africa. It's Burkina Faso that's caught our attention, and for good reason. It's there where Hermas Zoupula
- moped enthusiast, orphanage volunteer, and internet cafe proprietor - hangs his hat. All this sounds lovely, I know. But the real reason we're so keen to get behind this West African is the lovely music he will soon be exporting to our fair shores.
The youngest of 36 children, Hermas is the descendent of the Sissali griot Gouaka Djoua, and it is from him that Hermas has inherited, "the voice of the musicians." That voice finds its' inspiration in the likes of Bob Marley, Lucky Dube, and a host of other Afro-pop pioneers (Thomas Mapfumo, Salife Keita, King Sunny Ade).
Discovered by visual artist Jonathan Dueck and his wife Heather while living in the capitol city of Ouagadougou, Asthmatic Kitty
will soon be releasing Espoir
; a double disc capturing Hermas in two distinct and engaging recording environments. The first disc, laid to tape in a government studio in Burkina Faso, presents a refined and practiced Hermas performing with a host of other musicians jumping around him. On the second, Live in Ouagadougoa
, listeners get a piece of the Hermas most Burkinabes know; just him and his trusty guitar, singing and strumming in his own backyard.
Thanks to the fine folks over at Team Clermon
t, we were lucky enough to obtain this exclusive video of Hermas strolling dirt streets, guitar in hand, as traffic buzzes by. It's a tiny, authentic slice of Burkina living, and we think you should see it.
Hermas Zopoula, the youngest of 36 siblings, was born the small village of Yoro in Burkina Faso, West Africa. His family is the descendent of the Sissali griot Gouaka Djoua, and it is from him that Hermas has inherited, the voice of the musicians. While the rest of Burkina Fasos musical youth have been out chasing the latest trends in hip-hop, reggae, and musiques chaudes, Zopoula has been crafting his balance of traditional songwriting with a more modern vision since he was old enough to hold a guitar. Zopoula incorporates the guitar, balafone, and female back-up singers to write very personal and powerful songs of redemption and hope in the midst of struggle.
Source: Asthmatic Kitty Records Site