Ibu originally hails from Senegal. He was born and raised in
Podor which, incidentally, is Baaba
Maal's hometown as well. He started playing guitar at the
age of 12 and from that time never stopped. His career got big
at the University of Dakar when playing lead and rhythm guitar
for the college band. He appeared on national TV a few times
and got the opportunity to play in different bands in Dakar.
His family is not a griot family meaning not into music but
they are nobles and do have griots that sing for them. But his
love for music transcended those realities...
King moved to the USA in 1996 and formed a band named Goree,
a quartet including a kora player, two percussionists, with
King on bass and vocals. They played all the world music venues
in Los Angeles, creating a great following.
As well as bass, lead and/or rhythm guitar, King plays djembe,
sabar, keyboards and electronic drums. King has fascinations
with instruments; sounds and rhythms that make him listen and
learn from every type of music. The great thing about King is
that he has a propensity to learn languages and this also applies
to computer programs. Put all of these things together: versatile
musician with a sensitive ear, an expert’s level of computer
knowledge, an ability to understand and express every genre
of music; and you get the ideal producer. Recently King Ibu’s
independently produced 10-track album made tidal waves in his
homeland Senegal. On the day he released a video of his hit
song ‘Gaynde’ the national television station played
the song five times. King Ibu’s music was being played
so much that the programmers were even playing it outside of
normal music programming. ‘Gaynde’ was also being
played on every radio station in Senegal. Soon the news came
back to the United States and DJ Nnamdi of KPFK Los Angeles
featured him on a music programme called Afrodicia. King also
gave an extensive interview to the radio station Voice of America.
International was next to give
album Gaynde regular airplay. Within days the Temple
Bar asked King to host his CD release party in Los Angeles.
King leads a busy musical life as a part of his current duo
King Ibu and Tyia. The fusion between Afro blues and American
jazz is so unique that they have been hired to share the stage
with great musicians such as Poncho Sanchez, Tim Weisberg....
His exposure to traditional West African Blues, polyrhythmic
drums, and Senegalese contemporary dance music was balanced
nicely with his interest in jazz, rock and roll, reggae, zouk,
and flamenco. King Ibu weaves all of his musical influences
so masterfully that it is difficult for most people to explain
why his music is both familiar and mystically unique.
No matter the crowd, King sings in every language he knows,
often writing lyrics on the spot. His subjects discuss love,
travel, and political issues across the world. Perhaps that
is a reason why people are so drawn to him. They relate to his
sense of adventure and his consciousness of different parts
of the world. It could also be that their attraction is simply
his allure. King has occasionally stopped in the middle of a
song, explained it, and continued on: much to the delight of
the audience. King brings ambiance to a dull room with just
his 6’4” stride, his guitar, and his smile.
King Ibu is in the process of planning a series of concerts
in Senegal and his biggest goal is to play for the African and
European audiences - surely it won’t be long before this
goal is realised. For further news (in both English and French),
audio samples and more, check out his web site www.kingibu.com