Fonetiq Flowers, the new album by globe-trotting French band Lo’Jo, reached the number one place at the Transglobal World Music Chart in October 2017.
The album contains thirteen songs, recorded around the world, including places like Austin (Texas, USA), Lafayette (Louisiana, USA), Seoul (South Korea), Tbilisi (Georgia), Cotonou (Benin), Paris (France) and Bamako (Mali).
Lo’Jo is a an eclectic French band that creates hybrid music based on sounds from Africa, Europe and the Middle East. When Lo’Jo first formed there were only three members: Denis Pean, Richard Zenou, and Richard Bourreau. Since 1982, more than 300 musicians and dancers have contributed to Lo’Jo’s sound.
As a fledgling band, Lo’Jo joined the Jo Bithume Company, a street theatre ensemble. They absorbed multiple influences while touring Europe for four years. As musicians, we needed to open our ears to the music of the world. That was the idea when I began Lo’Jo,’ Pean said.
Although the band started with traditional Western instruments (piano, bassoon, double bass, and violin), West African instruments were introduced in the mid-90s.
The band’s members have performed live to Murnau’s silent film Nosferatu, published books, produced documentaries, performed twice at the Lincoln Center with 20 performers, and spent countless nights chatting around campfires, drinking wine and smoking cigarettes.
For a few years, they produced Le Festival au Desert with English guitarist Justin Adams and the Tuareg desert blues band Tinariwen, struggling against heat, political tensions, and sand-covered roads in search of new experiences and adventures.
Combined with performances in politically charged landscapes and collaborations with Malian group Tinariwen, Lo’Jo’s lyrics continue the poetic traditions of the French chanson.