Sissoko’s kora resonates through this poetic chant, seamlessly blending Malian traditional sounds and Piers Faccini’s solemn folk.
Ballaké Sissoko’s latest single “The Fire Inside” is a great demonstration of the alchemy between the Malian kora player and the British lyricist. Every musical encounter – on Faccini’s 2006 album Tearing Sky and Sissoko’s 2021 Djourou, it’s the perfect alliance. The two long time friends are exceptional story-tellers.
Bamako-born Sissoko is the proud successor of a jeli lineage: storytellers and musicians deeply ingrained in Mandinkan culture. He’s a jewel of Malian music, building important bridges between his sacred traditions and sounds from abroad. On his album Djourou, he enlisted Salif Keita as well as Gambian kora player Sona Jobarteh, French rapper Oxmo Puccino and many more, including British talent Piers Faccini. And after a duet between Sissoko and his chords on A Touma, he invites the folk singer to share a track once again on, “The Fire Inside”.
On this new single, the two companions deliver a beautiful ode to love and unity, full of hope. The kora notes are touching and solemn, in a way only Sissoko knows how. The melodies are intimate and his voice is appeasing. “The Fire Inside” is a wonderful trip between English countryside and Malian landscapes. Once again, Ballaké Sissoko and Piers Faccini’s union is a success.
Listen to “The Fire Inside” in our Songs of the Week playlist.