|Thierno Camara||New York, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, United States of America|
Born in Senegal, West Africa to an upper middle-class family, Thierno Camara speaks at least 4 languages (Wolof, Arabic, English, French) fluently, and was expected to follow in the footsteps of his family, to become a businessman, politician, etc… but Thierno’s heart has always been in music. As a child he convinced his parents to let him study classical piano and flute with a retired Russian composer who had moved to Senegal and was teaching music there, but secretly while Thierno was alone, he experimented with electric guitar and began composing the songs that he ‘heard in his head’.
At the age of 13, Thierno and his friends at school started a rock group called ‘Laser’ where he first played piano to an audience. Laser performed locally, playing a repertoire of American Rock cover songs at high schools and small festivals.
Growing up in Senegal, of course the traditional music of Africa could be felt in all Thierno’s earlier compositions, however he had been playing mostly western music until he started his own group at the age of 15 called ‘Tabala’, named after an ancient African folk instrument. This was where Thierno first experimented with the genre now referred to as AfroPop, fusing traditional African and Western music forms directly in his compositions.
Up to this point Thierno had been a pianist, but one day the bassist of Tabala unexpectedly quit the group and the band was immediately in need of a bass player for shows that were already scheduled. In a bind and unable to teach another bassist the songs in time, Thierno decided to take up bass while the guitarist switched to keyboard. He had to teach himself bass guitar and quickly, but it soon became his favorite instrument (so remains until this day).
As Tabala became more popular on the local music scene, Thierno was noticed by Pa-Copa, saxophonist from the popular Senegalese band ‘Golden Baobab’. Pa-Copa, a well respected musician of took Thierno under his wing and inspired him to mix African music with American Jazz and R&B.
At the age of 19 Thierno formed a new band called ‘Sora’ to focus roots African music. The group included many experienced griots (traditional musicians) who helped shape the distinct sound Thierno Camara has today.
After Sora, Thierno began touring the world, working with some of the world's brightest stars before finally settling in America where continues to collaborate with others and pursue his own artistic visions as composer, performer, and bandleader.
2009 Muzlink LLC, all rights reserved