Three years after Trilogy, Moh Dediouf releases a new album. The Love Diversity is its name. An album dedicated to love in its multiple facets. Surrounded by a plethora of true professionals, including the Nigerian Juwonmix, the Zimbabwean coming from underground Nicky, Ecko guitarist of Jamo Band, the Senegalese producer genius iss814, and mister Mike Bangerz, Moh Dediouf invites his public towards a new experience, rich and lively. For him, only love can save the world. Love of life, love of the human being, love of the country, or love of diversity. In a world where unique thinking reigns more and more, he feels it is important to promote the values of tolerance, empathy, and respect. It is a positive Moh Dediouf who has faith in the future that we met.
Kirinapost: If you had to make a review of your career, what would you say?
Moh Dediouf: I would say Tawfekh, and I would add that I am just starting
Kirinapost: It happened very fast. Immediately the success came. From the first album, we’ll say…
Moh Dediouf: Yes, it’s true. Everything moved quickly. For example, it was very motivating to win the International Songwriter Competition in Nashville with 15,000 artists at the beginning of my career. At the same time, this early success put a lot of positive pressure on me for what was to come.
Kirinapost: You have one foot in Europe, another in South Africa, and another in Senegal. Why did you make this choice?
Moh Dediouf: So far, this is my success triangle, and I would only like to enlarge it, not reduce it. Well, I’m from Dakar. I grew up in Senegal, so everything starts from here… I started my musical career in Africa with a label from my hometown Marseille. Then South Africa welcomed us, honored us, and allowed us to make a living out of music with dignity without compromising or giving up. So far, this is my success triangle, and I would only like to enlarge it, not reduce it.
« I ALSO REDISCOVER WITH PLEASURE OUR YOUTH THIRSTY FOR FREEDOM, OUR TOURIST WEALTH »
Kirinapost: Today, you seem to be more present in Senegal
Moh Dediouf: Let’s say that a family factor was added to my situation, coupled with the Senegalese creative instinct that inspires me and touches me even more than before. This is the reason why I « savor » my country even more… I also have the pleasure of seeing our youth thirsty for freedom and our wealth of tourism. Every day I discover many beautiful surprises in my Senegal.
Kirinapost: You also discovered that artists are going through difficult times with the restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic?
Moh Dediouf: The situation of artists is indeed challenging with Covid-19, but it must be said that the difficulties of our industry are not only related to the consequences of the pandemic. The coronavirus has only shown the fragility of certain professions like music. We must take advantage of this moment to take a deeper look at the sector.
Kirinapost: Beyond the demonstrations and the current demands of the various actors?
Moh Dediouf: Absolutely! It is the moment to rethink everything. We artists must stop lying to ourselves. The artist who plays from Monday to Sunday earns crumbs, but he is forced to do so. Otherwise, he doesn’t have food. The artist lies to his public by making them believe that he is rolling in money. To give himself a status, he is tempted by all sorts of tricks and trades. The sector does not need help or support. It needs organization. The singer, the technician, the producer, the tour manager, the director, the venue owner, and the animator must work together to have something for everyone. The State can organize this. The cultural sector is a source of wealth and employment, but we artists must stop lying to ourselves. Let’s take the example of soccer.
We have always had excellent players, but we experienced great disillusionment during competitions due to a lack of organization. We thought we were too good. As soon as the leaders put everything on the table and went back to the source, the Aldo Gentina center was created, then Diambars, then Génération Foot and Aspire. The result: today, we regularly go to the CAN, and we qualify more often for competitions in small categories. I’m not saying that everything is perfect in soccer, but at least, a big step has been taken in terms of training. In music, we will have to do the same thing, face the problems and find solutions. So far, we are only patching things up with pseudo-help. It is not a question of reinventing the wheel. We just need to be inspired by models that work, and that can be adapted to Senegal.
Moh, looking resolutely toward the future
« ARTISTS NEED ORGANIZATION MORE THAN HELP OR SUPPORT. THE MUSIC SECTOR NEEDS TO BE BETTER ORGANIZED ».
Kirinapost: Kirinapost: Tell us about your relationship with South Africa. Senegal in the field of music doesn’t have much of a relationship with South Africa. Do you have a project in this sense?
Moh Dediouf: Absolutely, Kora meet Maskandi is in its 2nd version with as guests the talented pianist Nduduzu Makhatini and the excellent Noumoukunda Cissookho. Our ambition through this project is to create more bridges between our 2 nations and to work on our similarities (Zulu-Serere, Xhossa Pulars, Tchangane-diolas, Dembele- wolofs).
Kirinapost: You have lived abroad for a long time. Today everyone says that the future is in Africa, but its youth is taking to the sea. Do you understand this phenomenon?
Moh Dediouf: Yes, I understand it very well… And I think we have to give clear answers… To live is to have hope and plans for a better tomorrow… I prefer to address the youth and tell them that we need them today and tomorrow. Blaming anyone will not solve the situation… Your lives are worth gold, and gold never loses its value. It is necessary to make young Africans understand that nobody will do it for you if you do not take charge of yourself and if you do not work on yourself first. Believing in yourself is not a matter of pride but of personal dignity. It’s about that psychological anchor that we hold on to every day to have confidence in our decisions, stop fearing mistakes, and allow ourselves to get up again and again. Believing in yourself is about having the courage to know that you deserve something better. Patience Trust Perseverance.
Moh likens the creative and dynamic African youth to a « diamond in the rough. »
Kirinapost: What needs to change so that young people will want to work on themselves?
Moh Dediouf: Our success stories need to be exposed more than our failures… Besides the news, there are other success stories… Our filmmakers should highlight the lives of our illustrious founders of social peace, and I think that all those who have really « succeeded » need to tell more of their lives how much they endured but never gave up… Whether it is sportsmen like Mané (from Bambali to Liverpool) or sports leaders like Gallo Fall (from Kaoloack to the NBA Africa), and even Youssou Ndour (from the Medina to the World). Our youth must see and hear these role models tell them, for example: « it was very hard, but I never gave up, and I never put my life in danger. »
Dediouf invites his young fellow Africans to bleed to transform their country without going overseas.
Kirinapost: You work a lot with young creators, technicians, graphic designers, developers. Is it a way to motivate them, or is it because they do excellent work?
Moh Dediouf: Both. We had to trust them first and then remain constant and patient with them… Our young people are a diamond in the rough. It’s up to us to cut them into precious stones.
Kirinapost: They worked on your new album too?
Moh Dediouf: Oh, very much so, and I can’t thank them enough for their flexibility and passion.
« ONLY LOVE CAN SAVE THE WORLD TODAY FROM A COLLECTIVE WRECK. WE NEED LEADERS WHO CULTIVATE LOVE. »
Kirinapost: What is the color of this new opus? Can you give us an assessment of its progress?
Moh Dediouf: The Love Diversity tells of our survival instinct in a chaotic world dominated by a single thought and a discursive monologue… Only divine Love and humanism can save us today from a collective shipwreck… In the face of all this, we regenerate ourselves by becoming more Africanized while welcoming the other…
« Love, love, love » is the message of Moh 2020
musically, your previous albums are a mixture of various genres. Do you always stay in this research and in this experimentation?
Moh Dediouf: My music has always been instinctive and spontaneous without too many commercial calculations… I make music in the name of freedom. The main thing for me is that it sounds and reflects our dreams. I say in one of the songs of the new album: « It is the hope that pushes me to cling to you dear life of peace, balance, and joy. It is the hope that drives me to run on your path to a better tomorrow.” With music, I also work in the same way. It must reflect our freedom and our dreams.