"From the first time you hear it, prepare to hum along, tap your toes, and be mesmerised by Daby's infectious brand of global soul-tinged pop." - BBC
"If the idea of an African Nick Drake or Cat Stevens appeals, then Daby Touré is your man." - The Times (UK)
With his wide-ranging voice, virtuosic guitar work, and knack for songwriting, Daby is a force to be reckoned with.” – Songlines Magazine
Born in Mauritania, and raised in Senegal, Daby Touré lived for more than a quarter century in Paris before moving recently to Montreal. While his father and uncles formed the pioneering Afropop band Toure Kunda, Touré has always followed his own musical path, with influences ranging from African folk melodies and desert blues, to jazz, pop, reggae, funk and soul. Blessed with an open mind and an explorer's spirit, Touré's catchy songs are as likely to appeal to fans of African stars Habib Koité and Youssou N'Dour as they are to followers of Bob Marley, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder. Touré has shared the stage and studio with everyone from pop superstar Peter Gabriel, Algerian singer-songwriter Souad Massi, Italian folk adventurer Enzo Avitabile, African-American bluesman Skip McDonald, French pop icon Maxime LeForestier and Israeli-African collaborative The Touré-Raichel Collective. Whether he appears solo or with his full four-piece band, Daby Touré never fails to astound audiences with his ethereal voice, masterful guitar work and catchy original songs. He illuminates the darkest of concert halls with his joyful performances and infectious love of music.
Daby spent his childhood in Mauritania, a country in western Africa. As a boy in Mauritania he was an avid listener to the radio and was influenced by The Police, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. He taught himself the basics of guitar and from an early age felt instinctively that his destiny was to become a musician.
Daby moved to Paris when he was a teenager. His passion for music gradually drew him from his business studies and he started playing in the Parisian music scene. He founded the duo Touré-Touré with his cousin Omar, and released a wellreceived album Laddé in 2000 that led to touring across Europe and the United States.
After many years of solo experimentation, playing and recording Daby met with electro musician and producer Cyrille Dufay in 2003. This meeting was to prove pivotal and led to the making of Daby's first solo album Diam, which convinced Peter Gabriel to sign him to his British record label Real World Records in 2004. Before long, Daby was opening for Peter Gabriel on his "Growing Up" world tour.
Diam received praise from media worldwide. Billboard raved, "Touré's music evokes modern and traditional modes of life: It's as influenced by the sounds coming out of today's Senegal, Mali, Paris and New York as it is favored by the traditional music of his native Mauritania. Touré is a rising star." Liberation called it "One of the best albums of the year," and Glamour warned, "Watch out, this record might make you happy." In 2006, Daby Touré was nominated for the BBC World Music Awards in the category "Discovery of the Year”.
He continued working with Peter Gabriel’s Real World label on his second album, which included some impressive collaborations. Ben Finlay, a recording & mixing engineer who had previously worked with Peter Gabriel, Sting, Simply Red, Jeff Beck and Robert Plant was part of the process, as was Tom Oliver, an engineer whose has worked with Sinead O’ Connor, U2, Seun Kuti, Tony Allen and Charlie Winston.
In 2007, Daby released Stereo Spirit on Real World Records, and continued to earn praise from international media. Songlines wrote that the album, "showcases Touré 's impossibly beautiful wide-ranging voice to perfection. Stereo Spirit is packed with catchy hooks and lyrics that seem to demand a singalong, no matter what language they are delivered in. A barrier-leaping album from a rising star."
2009 saw Daby heading in a different musical direction, teaming up with African-American bluesman Skip McDonald for the EP Call My Name. The US magazine Sing Out! described the EP as "neither African music nor blues, but instead something that pulls from both and also from rock, a touch of pop and even dub for a unique, appealing and - it has to be said - quite commercial sound. The two voices and styles complement each other perfectly, and the songs they've created - for they seem more like creations than compositions - summon up echoes of their histories, but end up in a hybrid that's essentially completely new." The EP was widely praised; the British newspaper The Guardian gave it five stars.
After leaving Real World, Daby signed to Universal Music. His 2012 release Lang (u) age saw Daby singing largely in French and led to collaborations with French pop icons Francis Cabrel and Maxime Le Forestier.
Daby has been invited to perform across the globe, including the Grand Prix Formula 1 in Singapore alongside Bob Geldof and Rihanna; the launch of the America’s Cup in Italy with Enzo Avitabile; and as a supporting act for Peter Gabriel’s “Back To Front” world tour.
After releasing three albums with the Peter Gabriel's Real World label and one with Universal Music, Touré revived his independent spirit with Amonafi, an album released in 2015 on respected international music label Cumbancha. Amonafi alternates between bittersweet songs and more playful ones, moving from folk and soul to upbeat Afropop. In Amonafi listeners can sense an identity in transit, one moving away from clichés. It's a fitting image for the soundtrack, a series of little stories which viewed from a distance, paint an image of a creative mind that is always in action.
"I was born in Africa" states Daby. "And all the traditional music I picked up when I was young is still in me and that doesn't change. But in my music I am still searching, and mixing, and trying things and that's what I am doing now. I have travelled far from the 'traditional' or 'folkloric' music of my country."