Wally Badarou

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Wally Badarou
Birth name Waliou Jacques Daniel Isheola Badarou
Born (1955-03-22) 22 March 1955 (age 59)
Paris, France
Genres Synthpop, pop, jazz, jazz fusion, progressive rock, African music, neoclassical, minimalist
Occupation(s) Composer, songwriter, musician, record producer
Instruments Keyboards, guitar
Years active 1978–present
Labels Barclay Records (1978–1982)
Island Records (1982–1995)
Blue Mountain Music (1995–2002)
Ishe Music (2002 – present)
Associated acts Level 42, Compass Point All Stars, M
Website http://www.wallybadarou.com/

Waliou Jacques Daniel Isheola "Wally" Badarou (born 22 March 1955) is a French-born musician.

Biography[edit]

A synthesizer specialist, Badarou was the long-time associate of the British band Level 42, known for its blend of funk, pop, soul and rock. He has co-written and performed on a number of the band's tracks since their recording début in 1980, later co-producing them.

Though not an official member of Level 42, he has long been considered an informal "fifth member"[citation needed] 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, Tom Tom Club, Joe Cocker, Mick Jagger, Black Uhuru, Gwen Guthrie, Jimmy Cliff and Gregory Isaacs.[1]

Badarou's keyboard playing could also be heard on albums by Robert Palmer, Marianne Faithfull,[2] 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.[3]

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.[citation needed]

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 ",[4] 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 ".[4]

Discography[edit]

Solo[edit]

  • 1979: Back to Scales Tonight
  • 1984: Echoes
  • 1985: Chief Inspector (EP)
  • 1989: Words of a Mountain
  • 1997: So Why
  • 2001: Colors of Silence : Musical poetry for Yoga
  • 2009: The Unnamed Trilogy

Movie scores[edit]

Producer (and co-producer)[edit]

Session player[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chris Salewicz's "Keep on running: The story of Island Records", Universe, p. 120 & 135.
  2. ^ David Dalton's "Faithfull: An Autobiography", Little Brown & Co, p. 242 & 245.
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 39. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ a b Official Wally Badarou web site http://www.wallybadarou.com .

External links[edit]