Gnonnas Sousou Pierre Kwasivi was born on the 10 of January 1943 in Cotonou, Benin.
Singing and playing music since his childhood, Gnonnas Pedro became in the 60’s one of the Beninese musical Kings (among with L’Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou, Antoine Dougbe, Honore Avolonto or El Rego), and never stopped to play music beyond.
He led his own band in the 60’s, “Pedro y Sus Sanchos”, that later became “Gnonnas Pedro et ses Dadjes”.
Lover of the French language, he was strongly influenced by the French singer Charles Aznavour (he even recorded a cover of Aznavour’s song “Les Comediens” !).
From the 90’s to 2004, he was the singer of the interplanetary known Afro cuban band “Africando”, grouping of African Legends such as Boncana Maiga, Amadou Balake, Thione Seck, Tabu Ley Rochereau, Ismael Lo, Salif Keita or Koffi Olomide.
Known as “The man that speaks all African languages”, Pedro embraced many musical styles, including afrobeat, highlife, salsa, pachanga, juju or “Modern Agbadja” (an update og the traditional style of his home region, Lokassa).
Many of the tracks he composed are still big hits today, such as “Yiri Yiri Boum” (Afro Cuban Anthem) or “Von O Von Non” (Hymn of the Togolese national football team).
He died the 12 of August 2004, at the age in Cotonou, Benin.
This selection is dedicated to Jean, my cousin, who with we listened Gnonnas albums again and again and again. Miss you and think about you everyday, my little brother..
You can download this Selection here !
1 – Ignace de Souza et L’Orchestre Black Santiago – Paulina
2 – Orchestre Blacks Dragons de Cotonou – Se Djro
3 – Vincent Ahehehinnou – Kourougninda Wende
4 – Orchestre Anos Band de Parakou – Alassane Koda Maradi
5 – Orchestre Blacks Dragons de Cotonou – E Sa F’aiye
6 – Gnonnas Pedro y sus panchos de Cotonou – L’indomptable Gnonnas Pop
7 – Orchestre Anos band de Parakou – boro non andou nan
8 – D’almeida Blucky et L’orchestre Black Santiago – Les Nanes
9 – Melome Clement Et L’Orchestre Poly Rythmo – La Fin De L’Ete
10 – El Rego – Divogny Din Ton Le
It’s a loong time we didn’t seen each other uh ?
Here comes a special Mix of some of my personal favourite Afro songs sung in french, for your ears only ; ) – Enjoy !
Armand de Preseau – Kribi Kribi Twist
You can download this selection here !