Grace Barbé’s second album Welele! has been five years coming, but truly worth the wait. It opens with the track Afro-Sega and the exhortation to “feel the rhythm, move your feet“. It’s a perfect introduction to an album of mostly original material written by Grace and band member Jamie Searle.
Grace hails from the Seychelles, and now resides in Western Australia. Her music draws on this background, combining the influences of seggae – itself a fusion of Sega, a traditional Mauritanian sound and reggae, disco, afrobeats, Afro, Kreol. Her talent lies in being able to fuse all these influences into a coherent and delectably funky sound so bright you can feel the sunshine.
For those unfamiliar with Grace Barbé, or the afrobeats/Soukouss/Seggae sound, take a listen to the final bonus track on the album. Tou Lannwit is a reworking of the Lionel Richie song All Night Long. It’s a masterful and highly original reworking of a familiar tune.
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