Formerly known as Camayenne Sextet (named after the Camayenne Hotel where the first rehearsals of this students band took place in 1973), the Camayenne Sofa came together in 1974 and were one of the most influential groups in Guinea, West Africa in the 1970’s,
Founded in Conakry in Guinea by a collective of young musicians, the band consisted of Papa Kouyaté, Jean-Baptiste Williams, Riad Chaloub and Justin Morel Junior. Creating a diverse fusion of sounds, the rise of this band’s popularity was rapid and with songs based on youth, love, education and unity, their experimental creations often saw them straying away from the confines of their traditional musical into the realms of experimentation.
Signed to the France-based African/Afro-Latin label, Syllart Records, Camayenne Sofa’s career only extended over a year (from 1974-1975), but in this time they released three solid records and it was from, A Grands Pas that we can find today’s soothing, soulful song. To me Wayakangai is a consoling lullaby for troubled times, a place of solace when peace is all you need and even if you cannot understand the words, what is conveyed through its heartfelt delivery seems to far transcend any language. Check it out above.