While we are at the Ivory coast I have to mention Beta Simone. (click name for a webpage about him or follow this link to the Beta Simone Site Officiel) Maybe he is not as well known as alpha Blondie or Tiken Jah Fakoly but he sure represents good Ivorian reggae music.
From the http://www.beta-simon.com/ I have to quote his presentation of how he came to be:
“Thus Mr Koré Yoh Jean and Boguhet Logbo Yvonne, under the law of affinity and attraction force, transcended a smile and a human heat that gave birth to an heart in the material universe to which they gave my name.
My name is YOH Bailly Simon, born on November 1st, 1964 in Bolia (Mid-west of the Ivory Coast), in a calm and peaceful environment, a village without electricity, lit by the sun and the moon.”
With a poetical introduction like that you can imagine his music. Enjoy!
His first album (Beta Simon and Baïssadé 1991) was made in Abijan
The second album (Esprit Musique) was made in Burkina Faso 1996:
I “Arrived in Burkina late in the night when I was supposed to meet a friend, I was arrested by police officers. I told them my name “Simon Beta”. Obviously they did not believe me. How can an artist rove in the streets in the middle of the night? I then showed them my album. When they were convinced of my identity and not knowing how to find my friend, they brought me to the radio where the moderator received me. My friend who was lying listened to the broadcast and came to join me. From there, I remained at his place a few years in Burkina Faso. It is in this country that I composed the songs of my second album.” (From his official webpage).
For his third album (Ramde, 1999) he moved to France (as an i”llegal immigrant” or as i myself would say which i think is a more proper and respectful way way to describe any person – A World Citizen)
The last album (Kraity Payan Guez, 2007) produced in Mali by Tiken Jah Fakoly.