Alpha Blondy

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Alpha Blondy (born January 1, 1953) is an Ivorian reggae singer and international recording artist. Alpha Blondy was born Seydou Koné in Dimbokro, Ivory Coast. He sings mainly in his native language of Dioula, in French and English, and sometimes in Arabic or Hebrew. His lyrics convey serious political attitudes and a sense of humor. In particular, he coined the French term democrature (an English equivalent might be "democratatorship") to identify some African governments.[citation needed] However, other people like Eduardo Galeano and Max Liniger-Goumaz are also credited with coining the term.


Early years


First son of a family of 9 children, Seydou Kone was raised by his grandmother, growing up in what he described as "among elders", which later was to have a big impact on his career. In 1962, Alpha Blondy went to join his father in Odienne, where he spent ten years, attending the Sainte Elisabeth high school, and getting involved in the Ivory Coast students movement. Here he formed a band. But, this hobby affected his schooling and Alpha Blondy was expelled due to poor attendance. His parents then sent him to study English in Monrovia in the neighboring country of Liberia in 1973. He spent thirteen months there and then moved to the United States of America to improve his English.[1]

First stay in the USA

In 1973 Seydou moved to New York (and briefly Texas), where he attended college and majored in English, because he wanted to become an English teacher. He had to work part-time, and sometimes at night, and became ill. In New York he met Rastafarians for the first time, and was also able to see concerts by Jamaican artists such as Burning Spear. At this time he was recording Christian music but never stopped writing his own songs. Eventually he got into various scrapes in New York and returned to the Ivory Coast, where he got into even more trouble until he met up with one of his childhood friends, Fulgence Kassi, who had become a noted television producer. This was the beginning of his real career as a singer, and he began to use the name 'Alpha Blondy'.[2]

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