Jan 16, 2024

A’Salfo | Listen to the Magic System lead singer’s exclusive playlist!

Salif Traoré, born on 15th March 1979 in Abidjan and better known by his stage name of A’Salfo, is the lead singer and lyricist of renowned zouglou band Magic System. The Ivorian’s 27-year career has been interspersed with multiple albums as well as a whole host of distinctions for his work not only through music but also in the field of community development.

In 2008, A’Salfo created the Ivory Coast’s first international music festival, the Festival des musiques urbaines d’Anoumabo, and continues to support it to this day through the Fondation Magic System, of which he is the president. The singer-songwriter was then named as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 2012, before becoming a member of the Ivory Coast’s economic, social, environmental and cultural council in 2019. Then, in 2021, the AFRIMA International Committee, which oversees the annual All Africa Music Awards, appointed him as a country director for the Ivory Coast.

About Magic System

A’Salfo first became a household name as a founding member of the group Magic System alongside friends Goudé, Tino and Manadja. Together, they released their debut album, Papitou, in 1997, before finding international success with the track ‘1er Gaou’, which received Gold certification in France and featured on the band’s 2000 LP of the same name. The following year, the group put out their third album, Poisson d’avril, followed by four further records: Un Gaou à Paris (2003); Petit pompier (2005); Cessa kié la verité (also 2005), which contains the two Gold-certified tracks ‘Bouger bouger’ and ‘C chô ça brûle’; and Ki dit mié (2007), which also received Gold certification. Meanwhile, the quartet’s 2011 record, Touté kale, which includes the hit ‘Chérie Coco’ ft. Soprano, went one step further than its predecessor by earning Diamond certification.

A year later, Magic System released their first-ever compilation (and yet another Gold-certified record) in the form of D’Abidjan à Paris, which notably boasts the track ‘Magic in the Air’, produced by RedOne and featuring singer Chawki. Incidentally, the song’s music video has since racked up several hundreds of millions of views on YouTube, with the tune even becoming the French men’s football team’s goal music at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In 2015, the band recorded the album Radio Afrika, which earned them the Grand Prix des musiques du monde award later that year from SACEM – France’s society of authors, composers and publishers of music – before they dropped another LP, entitled Ya Foye, just a year later, followed by their most recent full-length effort to date, 2021’s Envolée zougloutique.

An exclusive playlist by A’Salfo

During a recent visit to the Centre National de la Musique for a training course, A’Salfo took the time to put together a playlist of some of his favourite made-in-France tunes exclusively for What the France, including songs by Magic System themselves as well as the likes of Soprano, Victor Démé, Amadou & Miriam, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Sexion d’Assaut, Smarty, Christophe Maé, Joyce Jonathan, Alpha Blondy, Youssoupha, Fally Ipupa, Johnny Hallyday, Ismaël Lô, Salif Keita, Black M, Raphaël Grégoire and MHD.

WTF —Cover-Collab_A’Salfo_(Magic_System)

A Made In France Selection By A’Salfo (Magic...

Listen to a selection of made in France tracks, handpicked by A'Salfo from Magic System ! Listen now