Wally Badarou  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Wally Badarou (born Waliou Jacques Daniel Isheola Badarou, 22 March 1955, Paris, France) is a musician from Benin.

Contents

Biography

A synthesizer specialist, Badarou was the longtime associate of the British band Level 42, known for its blend of funk, pop, soul and rock. He has co-written, performed on and (later) co-produced a number of the band's tracks since its debut album in 1981.

Though not an official member of Level 42, he has long been considered an informal "fifth member" of what has otherwise usually been a quartet with bassist Mark King, drummer Phil Gould, keyboardist Mike Lindup and guitarist Boon Gould.

All the while close to Island Records's founder Chris Blackwell, he was one of the Compass Point All Stars (with Sly and Robbie, Barry Reynolds, Mikey Chung and Uziah "Sticky" Thompson), the in-house recording team of Compass Point Studios responsible for a long series of albums of the 1980s recorded by Grace Jones, Joe Cocker, Mick Jagger, Black Uhuru, Gwen Guthrie, Jimmy Cliff and Gregory Isaacs.

Badarou's keyboard playing could also be heard on albums by Robert Palmer, Marianne Faithfull, Herbie Hancock, M (Pop Muzik), Talking Heads, Foreigner, Power Station, Melissa Etheridge, Manu Dibango and Miriam Makeba.

He produced albums by Fela Kuti, Salif Keita, Wasis Diop, Trilok Gurtu, Carlinhos Brown; wrote for the films Countryman, and Kiss of the Spider Woman; plus directed and wrote for Jean-Paul Goude's French Bicentennial parade, Bastille Day 1989.

His solo instrumental work includes two albums: Echoes (1983) and Words Of A Mountain (1988). The former included "Chief Inspector", "Mambo" (sampled for Massive Attack's "Daydreaming" (Blue Lines album)), and "Hi-Life". "Chief Inspector" peaked at #46 in the UK Singles Chart in October 1985.

The Words Of A Mountain album is believed to be one of the first fully tapeless recordings in contemporary/new-age history: co-pioneering the computerised home studio concept with other electronic musicians of his generation, Badarou established a reputation on the field with his extensive use of Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, New England Digital Synclavier, and custom voice-controlled Yamaha digital mixers.

Badarou also helped organise the Kora All Africa Music Awards in 1997, while co-writing and producing So Why, a charity album for the ICRC, conceived as a call against ethnic cleansing in Africa, featuring Youssou N'Dour and Papa Wemba.

He has embraced stage acting since the early 2000s, showing interest in aviation, movies, science-fiction and philosophy.

By the end of 2009, starting with Fisherman, a 15 mn long "marathon in afro-beat territory ", Badarou released his latest album (The Unnamed Trilogy): online exclusively, one single at a time, via the JukeSticker, a direct and sharable transaction tool: "At very long last, my fans are to receive the music that never stopped haunting me all these years. The whole of it will be available as a physical collector set, once the three albums are fully revealed ".

Discography

Solo

Movie scores

Producer (and co-producer)

Session player




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Wally Badarou" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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