Mory Kanté by life is a legendary West African singer and kora player. He inherited the griot tradition from the Jalis of Mande.
The talented griot from Guinea in West Africa was the first African artist to sell a million singles with 'Yéké Yéké', which topped
the European charts. In 2000, Leonardo Di Caprio called upon Mory Kanté for the musical track of his film, The Beach, which includes
a remix of ‘Yéké Yéké’.
Mory Kanté inherited the griot tradition from the jalis of Mande. At its height during the reign of Sundiata Keita in the thirteenth century,
the African empire of Mande stretched from the Atlantic coast to the region of Gao. Mory began his musical education even before his birth,
on 29 March 1950 at Albadania near Kissidougou in the forestland of Guinea. His mother, Fatouma Kamissoko, communicated with him through
music when he was still in her womb – Fatouma is of Malian origin. Her father, the jali Mory Sanda Kamissoko known as ‘Sanda’, was
a spiritual leader for the griots in the regions of Kouranko and Sankaran in Guinea. He personally baptised his grandchild and passed on
to him his own name.