It’s following a live performance in 1996 that the rap group “King Da Dja”, produced by Salif Keita, asked Déné Issébéré to feature on their album “Tougna”. Eric Bono, Salif Keita’s sound engineer, will also call her for the recording of other albums (both traditional and modern), like accompanying Rokia Traoré and Afel Bocoum on the Malian version of the world cup anthem by Youssou N’Dour. The rap group “Les Escrocs” too will call on her services for the recording of their album “Kokadje”, also featuring the Malian kora king Toumani Diabaté. She will collaborate as well with the balafon virtuoso Neba Solo on his album
She signed up to the Mali K7 label in 2001 where she released her first solo album “Ogopo” (greeting to a chief in Dogon language) which finds an immediate success. Déné then became the new female voice of Malian music blending well traditional and modern styles.
From there on, Déné will take part in several collaborations over a period of 3 years, featuring on more than 20 albums released on the Malian market and 3 on the international market (Frederic Galiano, Toma Sidibé et Issa Bakayoko). She also participated in Midem, the International Musical Edition Fair, the Womex (the world music expo), a European tour with Issa Bagayoko and a tour in France with Lobi Traoré. She gained more experience after training in singing techniques in France and started writing and preparing for the recording of her second album.
During the making of her new (self-produced) album in 2005 Déné received the valuable support of new musicians such as the master n’goni player Bassékou Kouyaté and the maestro Cheick Tidiane Seck. In 2006 Déné finally released Ladilikan in Mali, followed by a big live tour.
Déné met in Bamako Manu Eveno, member of the French group “Tryo” who decides to work with her on the European version of Ladilikan, with a cover version of Mon amie la rose as a bonus track.
Déné’s Malian cultural background, her dogon identity, her family and artistic environments and her trips around the world have influenced greatly her writing and form the basis of her inspiration.
She has always favoured surfing between two complementary musical worlds, combining Malian musical tradition with modern pop/folk inspirations.
Writing almost all her own songs – although some are co-written with other singers, such as Emmanuel Eveno of the French band “Tryo”, or the Malian musician Yacouba Sissoko – Déné, is the daughter of the great Malian poet Hamadoun Ibrahima Issébéré and of Diahara Tangara, a teacher and comedienne. She uses some of her father’s literary work in her music to great effect.
Through her artistic work, Déné tackles many different issues dear to her heart such as the promotion of Malian culture, the dogon wisdom; relationship between men and women; women’s conditions (excision, forced marriages, polygamy, etc.) and the issue of peace in Africa and the world.
Having become mother in 2007, Déné takes a short break to look after her young children. However she will dedicate that time to starting up a new passion: the making of beads.
Nowadays Déné expresses her artistic talents through music and the making of beads.
Déné's new album will be released in April 2015.
For more info on Déné’s beads creations, please visit: www.yassiley.com.
Translated by: Wilfred Willey, London - UK