Perhaps you’ve already seen him performing in the US, England, Australia, Hungary or in Paris. Always elegant in appearance, adorned by his charming presence, embodies a unique and talented style of guitar playing inspired by the Mandingo tradition, Blues, Jazz and Rock. Even before releasing his first album Loundo, Moh! Kouyaté has enjoyed a long career…
His parents and uncles in Guinea first coached him traditionally. All of his relatives were deeply engaged in the musical life of Conakry. Forming part of the griot’s dynasty since the 13th century, the learning of music has forever been sacred to the Kouyaté
family. Moh!’s father encouraged him to play at an early age, and taught him his first chords; Moh!’s grandmother bought him his first traditional guitar in the local market.
Moh! instinctively followed the masters of Guinean music : the Bembeya Jazz leaders, Sékou “Diamond Fingers” Bembeya, the Syli Authentique, Kouyaté Sory Kandia, and also Ousmane Kouyaté, Salif Keita’s principal guitar player. In just a few years Moh! made remarkable progress and garnered himself the reputation of one of the most talented and up and coming Guinean guitar players. An introduction to George Benson’s album Tenderly by the great Amadou Diallo drove Moh! to mine inspiration from other techniques; those of Django Reinhardt, Santana, BB King, Ben Harper, Jimi Hendrix. At night, Moh! lit up the Guinean capital night life scene with his band, Conakry Cocktail. The band’s fresh and original musical styles were clearly inspired by Joe Zawinul.
In 2004, he met the bluesman Corey Harris and the following year, during a three months bus tour of the US Moh! experienced American gigantism. And while the sources of the blues draw on West African soil, Moh! discovers its tributaries: the Mississippi Delta and its brilliant guitarists, so close cousins of America.
In 2007, Moh! settled in France and discovered the Parisian afro-jazz scene musicians. He enlarged his circle of musical, artistic and personal contacts : Daara J Family, Awa Ly, Vincent Segal, Cyril Hateff, Hilaire Penda … amongst others. He also meet back talented friends like Ba Cissoko or Fatoumata Diawara. Moh! began performing in a quartet in cafes and venues all over Paris and beyond, extending throughout Europe.
In 2015 In addition to his many artistic projects, he began composing his first album, Loundo (one day), a rich compilation of all the different artistic experiences with groovy and electric titles like « T’en vas pas, ça va pas ! » composed for a couple of friends in crisis, broadcast in full on national & international radio stations like Radio
Nova, RFI and Africa n°1 FM.
In 2017, he composed his second album Fé Toki in which he shared his vision of a new Africa. In Fé Toki, the art of the continent on which his work feeds is connected to the whole planet. He has experience of this through his American and European tours: his music
has the gift of passing messages.
In 2020, he presents Guinea Music All Stars which is quite a feat : to put in the international public eye the modern music of Guinea. To do it, the guitarist singer has gathered around great figures such as Sekouba Bambino, young homeland talents, singers and players and specially composed a repertoire including some rearranged great classics from the golden age orchestras of Conakry.
Today, he comes back with a humanist and intimate project, Mokhôya, where "he once again shows his formidable talents as a guitarist and his art of melody." (Le Monde - Patrick Labesse)