Daby Toure - AmonafiThe unseen gravitational pull of environment and upbringing on singer/songwriters usually does one of two things: it either A) cultivates a solid sound while inspiring ideas within their comfort zone or it B) it becomes a black hole which restricts and ultimately consumes a sound.

But every once and a while a songwriter comes along that seems to tear down the conventional way of thinking and crafts something truly different.

Now one could assume, based on this natural progression that a singer/songwriter out of Africa would be somewhat easy to pinpoint sound-wise if you know their region of influence. But like that old saying, there is always the exception to the rule. And that exception can sometimes mean something very, very special.

Daby Touré, who was born in Mauritania, raised in Senegal, and currently rests his head in Paris, has seen the trying conditions of label obligations and should, by all accounts, come across nearly exhausted and cornered. Instead, in Amonafi Touré somehow paints a splendid array of colorful music in an audible display of spreading his wings and soaring.

The thirteen track release spans Afropop, several languages, progression, and folk; often all at once. Weaving tales of what youth means on the future in the beautiful folk presence of “Kiba,” failed dreams in the upbeat funk of “Oma,” and a return to your roots for coping with life in “Kille,” Touré sings very honest, very real stories that lift you up rather than drag you down; even if you don’t speak the language. More impressively, he grabs tradition with one hand and caresses in modern progressive tendencies with the other to mold a truly enthralling, magical, and entirely entertaining journey across thirteen tracks.

Daby Touré is now five albums into his solo career and is truly that special exception to the rule. By the time you think you have him pinned down, with the wave of his hand, he becomes something even better. A musical magician, he sees what is, what should be, and what can be, turns your sense of the status quo around and taps into a youthful awe that allows his sound to find your happy place and become a part of it.

GregGreg is a co-founder and regular contributor to Nanobot Rock.