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Festival de Marseille


The writer and composer Ahamada Smis was born in the Comoro Islands and lives in Marseille. He combines hip-hop with world music and draws poetic inspiration from the history of the Comoros and Africa.

After starting his career in hip-hop in the early 1990s, peforming with his first band Colored Boys, Ahamada Smis developed a unique artistic universe where hip-hop combines with world music. After several concerts, in 2002 he decided to create his own label, Colombe Records. He began by releasing short formats (a single titled Gouttes d'eau and a 6-track EP, Où va ce monde, in 2003). In 2004 he enrolled at the Music Training Institute in Salon de Provence (IMFP) to acquire additional skills as a sound engineer. As time went on, Ahamada Smis made his mark far away from the French rap industry, introducing acoustic instruments into all his productions.


His album Être was released in 2010. The following year he spent a lot of time in the Indian Ocean creating his album Origines using traditional instruments (gaboussi, dzenzé, ngoma, kayambe) that he now plays both on stage and in his recordings. Origines, released in 2013, is an acoustic work recorded in Marseille and the Indian Ocean with some of the region’s most talented artists. This project, hailed by the Académie Charles Cros as a major contribution to Francophone music, combines urban poetry and acoustic world music in “afro-ngoma” style (Comorian afro-beat). In parellel, Ahamada Smis created Le vaisseau voyageur, a performance combining nyandous and Sufi chants from the Comoros. In 2016, Ahamada Smis went back to the studios to record his third album, Afrosoul, released in 2018, where he reconnected with his hip-hop roots. This time however the samples are charged with the lyrical and rhythmic power of the Indian Ocean. Determinedly hip-hop, poetic and political, Afrosoul  is like a joyful saudade from the Indian Ocean. It expresses the violence and beauty of the world that converge in a place full of light and burning heat: Marseille.


In parallel with his musical creations, for fifteen years Ahamada Smis has been involved in cultural activities targeting different audiences, with a particular interest in young audiences. He has presented several shows for children: Wanaminots with Miqueu Montanaro (2008), Les chants de la mer (2012), Mtoulou fait son safari musical (2015) and Kipépéo (2017). In 2020 he began working on his latest project Sabena, a multi-disciplinary creation combining poetry, traditional music from the Indian Ocean, visual art and contemporary dance.


Édition 2021 Édition 2022

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