Sorie Kondi is a blind folk singer from Sierra Leone. I was fortunate to meet him personally in 2009 when he welcomed me to his home and tried to teach me how to play his ‘kondi’, a locally made version of the thumb piano.
His most recent full length album was ‘without Money no family’ produced and mastered in Freetown. As you can imagine the album though brilliant found little success in Sierra Leone without a manager or full time promoter to get the cassette into the mainstream.
Nonetheless Sorie was able to perform at two events in Freetown, one organized by myself and another put on by local expatriate community. Whatever little funds he made have long since been spent.
He has since gone back to the studio with producer Fadie Conteh and has completed a new album. And as luck would have it Sorie Kondi has been invited to perform at this year’s SXSW – South by Southwest Festival in Texas in March.
With the help and assistance of Chief Boima and Luke Wasserman he will also do a couple shows in the US if time and funds permits.
I am often one to lament about the loss of music that is uniquely Sierra Leonean and traditional. Sorie Kondi’s music is both of those things. While he has never had much commercial success in Sierra Leone, many who grew up in the north and in Freetown remember having encountered Sorie and his Kondi back before the war when he would play on the streets and at local events.
Today we want you to help us bring Sorie Kondi and his music from the slums of Freetown to the US. We can not get him here without your help. Please pledge whatever little you can to help cover Sorie Kondi’s travel costs from Sierra Leone to the SXSW festival.