Single of The Week: Mowgan feat. Jah Baba – O Pa Mi Titi Deabe (Original) (MoBlack Records)
“Chassez le naturel, il revient au galop.” A famous French expression one use to translate in English as… “What’s bred in the bone comes out in a flesh…” In other words, creation will pretty much depend on our respective culture and surroundings. And, as a result, influences…
Musically speakin’, I gotta admit I always had mixed feelings about the French scene. As able of the most average if not pathetic, such as recently explained on these shores. But also the very best along with time. From the late Serge Gainsbourg to the transient Space (remember ‘Carry On, Turn Me On’). Not to mention Jean-Luc Ponty, Air, or Michel Legrand, himself responsible for outstanding film soundtracks.
True, we don’t have a tradition of soulful vibes there, which is more of an American thing with thanks to the Gospel influences. No more than people here have an inclination for the groove in comparison with Britain. But there has always been an undeniable connection with West Africa. Itself most likely inherited from the colonization period. This explaining why and how so many African artists first came to recognition in France. From Manu Dibando to Youssou N’Dour. Not to mention Mory Kante, Alpha Blondy or Khaled. With thanks to Paris-based Radio Nova who made itself quite a reputation with broadcasters such as Bintou Simporé and the late Rémy Kolpa Kopoul.
Don’t you ever ask me what ‘O Pa Mi Titi Deabe’ means. I have not the foggiest idea. No more than the Google translator which got it as Filipino although it’s not. As a matter of fact it’s Beninese (from Benin). This South West African country being the homeland of Nigerian native Oladipo Abiala aka Jah Baba. A man who made himself a name for his blends of Afro-Jazz and Afro-Gospel vibes. As for the song itself, ‘O Pa Mi Titi Deabe’ came to the attention of French DJ/Producer Mowgan Ghenassia while doin’ a gig in NYC with the band back in 2014. The latter adding his own rhythm arrangements to it, with MoBlack Records recently givin’ it a release along with extra remixes…
Our preference will remain for the original mix though. The latter carrying all the ingredients which makes African Music so special and timeless. In the vein of gems such as Djeff Afrozila‘s ‘Você Me Chamou’ or DJ Sbu feat. Zahara ‘Lengoma’ as mentioned in our 10 essential Afro House gems.
Africa, motherland of the groove. There we go!
Download from Traxsource.
Eclectism and open-mindedness… Two words which perfectly encapture who Toulouse-born DJ/producer Mowgan Ghenassia is about. By the age of 13, he got into Brazilian House Music from his elder brother who was a fan of Masters At Work. From then, he would go to both House Music and Disco before opening his ears and mind to other vibes. From Raggae to Afrobeat, Coupé Décalé, Makossa or Salsa. It was not long before he decided to embrace the world. Living in various places from Valencia to NYC or Berlin which would be as many grounds fertile for enriching meetings.
Needless to say his connection with JoVonn with whom he hosted the Rhythm party has been of some great experience. Not only as a DJ Show, but also because Rhythm welcomed live percussion, vocals and keyboards. From there, our globe-trotter wouldn’t miss an opportunity to develop projects upon his meetings here or there. From Jah Baba and his musicians whom he met while spinning at NYC the Shrine before delivering ‘O Pa Mi Titi Deabe’ a few years after. To Capone Adama from Gambia with whom he’s released a few jams on Open Bar. Or Ras Willa from Gambia. A story to most likely find further developments during the comin’ months.