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Féfé

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Modesty, it would seem, is one of Féfé ‘s strong points.

Modesty, it would seem, is one of Féfé ‘s strong points. It’s not that Saian Super Group was a Wu-Tang style outfit that changed the world, but certainly in their native France, they were a unique force – and they gained recognition outside too. Ironically, the first time I’d heard them was in a Wu-Tang collaboration – or at least affiliation – and from there, they catapulted straight to the top of the list of best international hip hoppers for me. They had – pardon the pun – a super groove and their production was always top notch. And while the group is essentially no more, music didn’t stop for Féfé at the time the group wound up.

"I used to be in the hip-hop outfit called Saian Super Crew from 1997 to 2007. It was a crew with six members; we travelled a lot around the world then we stopped doing that due to some internal issues. But we had a great time!" chimes the Frenchman. He continues: "I was going to stop music altogether and then a friend gave me a guitar but I didn’t want to do more music in that way – I didn’t think I could take it higher, I wanted something more musical and more personal with more taste and then I did Jeune à la reiterate which translates to retired youth! I didn’t want to quit the group but the group split up – so it sort of happened, I just wanted to quit music and for some time I didn’t do anything, I didn’t produce and stopped writing lyrics. It was for sure a tough time but it was bigger than me; so I started again with the writing and learning guitar and I was listening to a lot of soul vinyl and samples."

"I loved then that I never thought I could go to that degree of music and I didn’t know I could do that; I did my first solo album and to be able to go forward like that was really inspiring. Then one guy advised me that he wanted to distribute my album and I sent him a few demo’s and stuff; he wanted to sign it and release and everything is cool now."

Nevertheless, the righteous path never stops for a musician. And for Féfé , life is no different. "Right now I’ve gone back to writing, I did one song for a reggae singer from Africa I’m also doing a bit of writing for a few others and then I’m concentrating on my second album, or at least trying to! I’m sort of going back to my roots. I came from soul and reggae and really classic type music. I love blues and jazz and I’m getting back into Hendrix and artists like that; for me hip hop changed and I’ve been listening to the Beatles and am rediscovering this music that I’ve listened to but not that much, if you know what I mean? I still love hip hop – that is the music from the 1990s that I love. Where it must go forward is that hip hop is the music of the youth. In France it is for the young kinds so I’m trying to take everything to keep the vibe of hip hop alive. And then I discovered Bob Dylan and I want to take it and make it all mine!"

"Basically, I’m not trying to be like someone or something from the 70s or whatever; I just wanted to be free like a bird. I’m all about music. People want to hear that. When they come to my shows they will hear blues, rap, good music! There is a drummer, a bassist, guitarist, a pianist and a DJ. Sometimes we go through jazz and funk and soul records. Whatever comes naturally; it’s all logical and my only hope is that people get the good vibes." True that.

Féfé [FRA] plays at the Womadelaide festival which takes place at Adelaide’s Botanic Park from Friday March 11 to 14.