The Burkina Faso citizen Louis Salif Kiekieta, aka Smarty who was the former member of the rap/hip-hop duo Yeleen held a concert at the Alliance Ethio-Française on Tuesday June 24th.
The artist, over a period of 10 years had released five albums and been nominated for several awards such as the Kora and the 2007 Kundé d’or prize.
Smarty has been working in Ouagadougou where he embarked on a solo career. His album, Afrikan Kouleurs, featured high profile artists such as Tiken Jah Fakoly and Soprano.
The artist’s work reportedly confronts modern rhythms with traditional instruments. He is inspired by realities and melodies from a fusion of African and modern music with a jazz influence.
Smarty’s journey of music officially started when the rap group Yeleen was established back in 2000. The group had two members; Smarty and Célestin Mawndoé. The two saw successes very quickly after their first album “Just one little light” was released in 2001.
In 2002, the group was nominated for the Kora Music Awards in South Africa in the category of Best African Group. Then in 2004 came the big concert in Ouagadougou Municipal Stadium where over 20,000 people attended. Unfortunately for Smarty’s fans, in 2011, the artist announced that he had ended his collaboration with the group Yeleen, which came as a shock to many.
Many of Smarty’s fans had a hard time when the singer left his first group Yeleen and ventured into a much more different mix of music than the rap/hip-hop genera.
Although some found it difficult to say goodbye to Yeleen, Smarty’s album Afrikan Kouleur, which brought out the new flavors of his work was widely accepted. He went on to win the award for best music video for Kundé 2013 annual awards in Burkina Faso.