If beauty is all it takes for success, well then Ivory Coast music sensation Fely Tchaco embodies this quality and more. She is one of the San Francisco bay area music scene’s best kept secret. Born in Cote d'Ivoire the West Africa, Fely, s passion with music began in her early teenager years. She remembers escaping many nights to the neighborhood local bands. After realizing her path, Fely came home one day and told her father that music is what she would love to do. Against her father’s negative response, she decided to take matters in her own hands, left home and quit school, then later on joined a group in Yamoussoukro the political Capital as a lead singer. In her native country the Cote d’Ivoire, competition is though as the country is home to many awesome performers and creators of many African music styles who have went to become international super stars such as Alpha Blondy and many more.
In her debut, Fely adopted Latin rhythms, mixed a good crafted musical style of her own, steeped in the traditional rhythm of both her gouro and Bete ethnic culture. She subsequently released 2 albums in the style.
A music video of one of the albums “Mon Espoir” (my hope) sung un French which featured an American actor Tinny Lister won the outstanding music video honor for "Ivoire Clip Show" in 1998, on the national TV. Both albums critically acclaimed sent Fely on concert tours throughout West Africa and rocketed her to national stardom, reveling her talent as a singer songwriter, performer and dancer. Television appearances on many entertainment shows coupled with music magazines interviews making headlines celebrating her talents, Fely became a household name.
In the late nineties’ Fely sought to expand her wings outside Africa and instead of moving to Paris as it is customarily the case for many Ivorian artists she choose to settle in San Francisco, where she formed her own band. “San Francisco reminds me much of Abidjan the capital city of Cote d’Ivoire which also has a bay with two bridges connecting the city to the surrounding communities. Beside that, San Francisco is also the sister city of Abidjan. It is a perfect setting for me.” While, studying in graphic arts communication, Fely continued working on her music career, writing and recording new materials. Her first U.S. debut album "De Zere Gnan" was released in 2004 followed by an EP "Awareness” in 2008. Both recordings were a collection of songs written during the period when she was in hiatus concentrating on her college education. Her lyrics draw on life experiences, ruminating on what is going on in the world today and in her own native country. Her latest release is “Maturite”, a collection of songs with a strong message of hope and peace not only for her country, but for the entire world. Fely sings in many different languages, English, French and in her native Gouro language, emphasizing on her cultural background, infused with traditional folk rhythms.
The central theme of “Maturite” is Africa; Fely pays tribute to Africa for its contribution to the world. “Goba” the first track on the album has been selected as a finalist in the world music category by the international songwriting competition listening committee. The finalists were chosen from over 15,000 entrants. In fact, this was the most competitive year to date, making this an extraordinary achievement for fely. Many of her songs have social messages as well as political realities in Africa. Fely calls for peace and reconciliation. “All we need is peace instead of division amongst all my fellow Ivorians regardless of religion or national origins.” Her new album "Maturite” (Maturity) delivers the best of both worlds, a bridge between where she comes from and where she is now.
Fely is a total package with a powerful persona, positive aura, she is a dynamic performer and dancer as well specializing
in rhythms of the forest like Gbegbe, Gaou Alloukou and Zaouli etc...
Fely is surrounded by a plethora of professional musicians who are much in tune with the percussive sounds and beats that are part of her culture. Fely also collaborated with renowned composers such as Jerry Martin former Audio Director at EA and Serge Bile an international writer based in Martinique.
Fely Tchaco wants to be the bearer of the unique rhythm and represent her culture through the music she grew up with.
As she explains “our culture is disappearing, it is therefore my duty to break new ground throughout the United States and expose it to the audience. I am devoted to this.” As in her previous albums, Fely writes her songs and self-produces her albums. She also designs and assumes the art direction. As versatile she may be, she also has remained true to her roots.
Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/felyproductions
Internet Radio: www.jango.com/fely+tchaco