Ibrahim Bah Karamoto Diabaté, better known as Iba Diabaté, was born in the “white gold” cotton country of Miniankala, Mali. His father, Abdoulaye Diabaté, is a famed griot with an established international career, while his mother, an actress who performed at local cultural and artistic festivals, descends from a line of blacksmiths.
Iba’s parents trace their ancestry directly from the Bambara Kingdom of Segu, and from the line of griots, messengers who communicate the sacred customs and traditions of the “Diabatela“.
Iba was encouraged to learn traditional Malian music at a very young age, and showed promising talent early on. Although Iba’s father sent him to pursue a formal education, first in Yorosso, then in Bamako, Iba’s calling for music never stopped. In Yorosso Iba learned to play the guitar, balafon and kora; in Bamako he took lessons throughout his college years, but his career fully blossomed when Iba decided to relocate to Montreal in 2001.
Insipred by great singers such as his father Abdoulaye Diabaté, Salif Keïta, Habib Koïté, Youssou N’Dour or Marvin Gaye, Iba decided to live his dream of a career, crafting his own blend of music, fusing the traditional rhythms of Malian music with the influences of modern musical instruments, weaving the beauty and intensity of his voice within the framework of Western arrangements.
Iba refers to his style of music as being “the black blues” and throughout his songs you will find him singing about peace, unity, love, respect, and social injustice. While the majority of his lyrics are sung in his native Bambara, Iba also expresses himself in French, Spanish and English on this first album entitled Mouna.
Today Iba spends most of his time in Mali, playing shows across the country and spending time with his father Abdoulaye. He’s established a strong following at home at an early age, a symbol of achievement for the people of Mali. Iba, heir to the griot tradition, has also become the leader of a contemporary Malian sound. The world is next…