My Life (Lusafrica, 2011)
Sia Tolno is one of the emerging talents from West Africa. The Sierra Leonean singer released this exciting album titled My Life. Sia Tolno has one of the best voices to have come out of Africa in recent years and she blends a fiery mix of West African rhythms, Afrobeat and Congolese rumba with powerful jazz brass, funk and call and response vocals. Guitarist Mamadou Camara does an outstanding job on the acoustic and electric guitars.
“In my songs, even when I’m talking about sadness, it’s not about despair or self-pity,” says Tolno. “I want people to know that I went through all these things but still, I’m leaving the past to walk toward the things I love. I’m so happy for that. And the only way to share this happiness is to make others happy through my songs.”
Tolno had a difficult journey in life. She was forced to leave war- devastated Sierra Leone for the Republic of Guinea-Conakry, losing many loved ones. Tolno survived by singing in clubs, gaining respect and fans. She also sold palm oil. Tolno worked until she was discovered by a European record company representative at a talent contest.
My Life is a superb album by Sia Tolno, one of the African singers to follow in the next years.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.