Tété ought to be crowned France’s folk king. A charming self-taught artist, he ably combines folk, Delta blues and Chanson Française influences. Born in Dakar, Niang Mahmoud Tété later moved to St. Dizier in northeast France and was given a guitar at age 15. His Antillaise mother ho reared him on The Beatles, Bob Dylan and jazz greats like John Coltrane before beginning to busk in the Paris métro. As a result, his work from 2000’s EP Préambule through last year’s Les Chroniques de Pierrot Lunaire navigate everyday themes sung in French, although he also pens lyrics in English and harkens to folk of the Anglo tradition. One of his best tunes, “Le Magicien,” features a video showing him appropriating the folk boom cool of the famed placards with lyrics segment from Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” “C’est juste une phase,” some might say. Non, Tété is not a phase but a flash of the future of black vernacular music.
(Source Paste Magazine)
Après une apparition remarquée dans le cadre du “Spotlight on France” de la Canadian Week Music en avril dernier, Tété est de retour pour un concert exceptionnel le 12 juillet prochain au Adelaide Hall de Toronto.
Guitariste passionné depuis l’adolescence, Tété sort son premier album, L’air de rien, en 2001. Deux ans plus tard, c’est la consécration avec À la Faveur de l’Automne. Depuis, il ne s’est jamais arrêté – ni de tourner, ni de composer, pour lui ou pour les autres (de Gaël Faure à Fréro Delavega.).
Au début de l’année 2016, Tété crée la surprise en entreprenant une série de dates à la Java à Paris et une tournée Solo Sans Sono – seul avec ses guitares – en médiathèques à travers toute la France, afin de faire « Vraiment sonner sa voix, au naturel ». Au vu de l’accueil chaleureux qui lui fut réservé, Tété a alors entrepris de mettre la touche finale aux Chroniques de Pierrot Lunaire : l’histoire « d’un homme qui doit un jour affronter la violence de la réalité. Chanson après chanson, il apprend à changer son regard sur ce qui l’entoure ». Tété ne cache pas qu’il s’est inspiré de ses propres états d’âmes : « Arrivé à l’âge de 40 ans, on réalise que, si on a de la chance de vivre autant d’expériences, on a également l’envie de s’incarner davantage..
Mission accomplie ! Le musicien renoue avec le dépouillement sonore de ses débuts, se défaisant des couches rajoutées en studio : « Mon principal challenge, c’était l’épure. Le français est une très belle langue qui exprime beaucoup mais, si l’on y rajoute trop d’instruments, on peut s’y perdre. L’air que j’ai mis dans mes chansons, c’est celui qui j’ai insufflé à ma vie… Lorsqu’on est porté par ses respirations, on est davantage en interaction avec l’autre.»
Découvrez un extrait du nouvel album de Tété, Les Chroniques de Pierrot lunaire :
By Keith Sharp (source)
Thursday April 20th at Toronto’s Rivoli Theatre. As part of the annual Canadian Music Week Festivities, a delegation from France (along with a similar delegation from Italy) were showcasing a lineup of domestic artists at the venue. Public Relations person extraordinaire, Joanne Smale had convinced yours truly to write about the delegation and to check out the talent that night at the Rivoli.
Arriving at the venue with an ulterior motive to try to make some French touring connections for a Montreal-based band I represent, The Box, this writer was impervious to that night’s talent lineup. And then it happened, first artist of the night, Tètè.
Standing alone in the spotlight, just him and his guitar. I could barely understand a word he was singing, but it didn’t matter. His charismatic presence alone was hypnotizing. He could speak fluent English, reflected a charming personality and his songs were both anthemic and melodic, no matter whether you understood his lyrics or not. My first reaction was; he would be a brilliant opening act for The Box.
Of course his set received a rapturous response, but since a large percentage of the audience were from the French delegation, it was kind of like singing in front of a home crowd. But the following night, he repeated his set for an entirely different crowd, about 40 initially disinterested patrons at Toronto’s downtown Paddock Tavern. And when, Tètè received a standing ovation after his first song, from an audience who were clearly not French, it was clear Niang Mahmoud Tètè is a very special artist.
So with a handshake agreement in place to represent Tètè for Canada (and possibly North America) Music Express is honoured to showcase Tètè; Wednesday July 12th at Toronto’s Adelaide Hall, tickets $20 available at the venue or online via ticketfly.
Tètè, who is squeezing the July 12th Toronto gig in between performing July 10th at the prestigious Festival D’Ete du Quebec in Quebec City and the Nuit Afrique festival in Montreal July 13th, acknowledged that his recent CMW appearance had opened new doors for him.
“I hadn’t played Canada in more than 10 years, which was something I was looking forward to since at one point in my career I even considered relocating to Montreal before dwelling in Paris,” Tètè explained. “Everybody warned me the CMW was a big event with hundreds of bands but I went there to do my best and the outcome exceeded everything I could have wished for. I got to meet some great people and it has opened the doors to more concerts in Canada…and Germany!
Born in Dakar Senegal July 25th 1975 to a Senegalese father and a Martinique native mother, Tètè moved to St Dizier in Northern France at the age of two when his parents divorced. Totally self-taught as a guitarist, he admits he was a later starter (around 16 years old). “For the first 20 years, I had no idea what I was playing which can actually be great because it makes you less self-conscious. Then for the past five years, I’ve started watching you tube guitar tutorials to try and learn more riffs and phasing.
Encouraged to join a band in high school, a young Tètè was initially influenced by Keziah Jones as a song writer, “Then it was Ben Harper who turned me on to acoustic guitar, Jimi Hendrix made me like riffs that much and sort of paved the way to blues,” he explained. “The Beatles’ records my mum played us as kids long converted me to melodies but it’s the jazz legends she played for herself (Coltrane, Miles Davis, Archie Shepp and Tom Waits} made me like the warmth I try to convey in my music.”
Busking in the streets and bars of Paris, sharpened Tètè’s performance chops and one year, later, he had his first recording contract with Sony/Epic. L’Air de rien, released in 2001. He has since released five more studio albums, two live albums and one compilation release, has toured major theatres and festivals throughout Europe, Asia and even his native Africa, building a boisterous following of fans who call themselves “Tètèphiles”
“A la faveur de l’automne” (released 2014) was a major breaking point in my career”, noted Tètè. “Getting that much airplay put me on the map in France before opening up the doors to Japan, I sort of owe this song a great deal each time I get to do my thing.”
Described as “the French Bob Dylan” or more likely, “the French Jeff Buckley”, Tètè is comfortable singing delta folk, delta blues or Chanson as it’s known in France. Although he speaks fluent English, he prefers to write and sing in French. “I think my following in France really wants to get the stories behind the lyrics. It feels like I’d break that special bond by delivering stories they cannot get because of a language barrier,” he noted. “But having said this, I am working on English material to record in the future.”
Although Tètè’s exposure to Canada has been limited, he has played twice around Francofolies in Montrea and has executed tours down the East and West Coast of the USA, performing at Library Of Congress in Washington as well as a prime concert in New Orleans.
Tètè is hoping that his first major showcase in Toronto, Wednesday July 12th at the Adelaide Hall will set the stage for many more Canadian appearances.
For more information on Tètè’s Adelaide Hall showcase CLICK HERE .
Une 10zaine de concerts annoncés en Allemagne cet automne. #Humbled
A dozen concerts announced in Germany Fall 2017! #Humbled
En 2017 j’ai le plaisir de faire partie de la programmation du Canadian Music Week qui se tiendra du 18 au 22 avril a Toronto!
In 2017 I have the pleasure to be part of Canadian Music Week, bound to take place april 18th to 22nd in Toronto!
Mission du jour: Avoir 5 nouveaux titres à presenter pour la fin du mois. A votre avis je vais y arriver?
Mission of the day: 5 completed new songs by the end of the month. Do you think I can make it?
I’ve only just received my japanese editions of #HomeBrew52 . What a pleasure to hold these in my hands! Care to know the feeling? T.
Je viens tout juste de recevoir mes éditions japonaises de #homebrew52 ! Quel plaisir que de les tenir en main ! Tu veux voir ce que ça fait?
I’m writing you this here letter from the studio where I’m laying guitars on new french songs . How have you been?
Man, can’t wait sharing with you #BasusByTete , the original collection I’ve been working on with Basus wear. I promise I’m sending you the link as soon as the shop is up.
Closer to this side of the world, I had the greatest time ever at Rendez Vous De La Lune last week,
Through-out which most brilliant Leeroy & Redouanne Harjane were seen among the crowd (love you guys),
Apart from that, I’m hitting the road again with Soldat Rose 2 by the end of the month. Nice.
Or else you can still take a look at my book/film/music crushes of the moment. Hey speaking of which. What’s the last book that shook you?
Talk soon. T.
PS:Feel like getting news on a regular basis?
#HomeBrew52 came out yesterday in Japan exclusively. We thought it was fair to those of you who can’t get the CD, to share a little video Lyric on youtube.
JAPAN. #Homebrew52 my english 4 track EP is out now! I first wanted to record a demo to try and find concerts in Europe and then we decided to release the record in the land of the Rising sun. Can’t wait sharing it with you. Did you know you can also get #Homebrew52 delivered right at your place?
#Homebrew52 mon 4 titres en anglais est disponible! L’idée était au départ d’enregistrer une demo pour essayer de trouver des concerts en Europe. Et puis finalement nous avons décidé de sortir le disque dans l’archipel. Recevoir #homebrew52 directement chez vous? C’est possible en cliquant ICI or LA !
“Did I tell you my dear, that I found me a way to keep fear and blue at bay?”. #HomeBrew52 . Here’s the story to the E.P.
Filmed and edited by Tété. Shot in Frossay, France. Spring 2014.
#homebrew52【TETE テテ】速報！テテが長年の夢だった英語歌詞の曲を録音。そのミニアルバムを９月21日に発売します。日本限定発売！！ #homebrew52
#HOMEBREW52 A homemade 4 tracks acoustic E.P. Out sept. 21rst in JAPAN exclusively. (Video sequence motion compositing by Jerome Bauer).
THE SORROW SONG
Did I tell u my dear
That I found me a way
To keep fear
And blue at bay
Stroke me yesterday
As quite plain yet true
If I may
I’m -a- share it with you
Cause it’s not just me and my sorrow
Got a spare smile in me I can borrow
Not just me and my sorrow
So if your heart’s needin’ stitches
Don’t get stuck in no ditches and
Fight I got just the spell
Cause if it worked out for me
Can’t quite figure out why
It should not for you as well
Cause it’s not just you and your sorrow
There are spare smiles out there you can borrow
Not just you and your sorrow
If you’re willing to share, then friends will show,
Not just you and your sorrow
So no matter what may happen just remember
Side by side we’re meant to stick together
Cos it’s not just us and our sorrow
There are spare smiles in we,
One can borrow
Not just we and our sorrow
If you’re willing to share then friends will show
Not just we and our sorrow
There are spare smiles out there one can borrow
Not just we and our sorrow
If u willing to share…
Not just we and our sorrow,
Not just you and your sorrow
Not just me and my sorrow.
I received a very special gift today, and I wanted to share it with you.