FIGAROSCOPE. – How did you come to music?

TIWAYO. – I grew up with parents passionate about blues and jazz and I started the guitar in high school to age 16 with some friends. For several years, I’ve experimented with different styles of music, reggae, blues, soul, before concentrating on my solo project.

You have learned is self-taught?

I had started a degree in musicology, but at the end of three months I was already there! Actually I’m more the type to claim the side learning on the job is also linked to the blues. I’ve learned a lot feeling at the discretion of my meetings. It also helps for me to think of the music for the sake of simplicity (which does not mean without complexity), and draw the essential.

and Then there’s the discovery with the United States, which you apparently marked.

Yes, this is it! My first trip there almost a decade ago has been quite an initiation. I launched myself on the road to the blues: New York, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis… It was also my first contact with the Old South. Since then, I’ve returned many times up to record my album there with the legendary producer Mark Neill whom I admire the work with The Black Keys.

You are so gone at the end of the american dream?

It was like a no-brainer, the album would be recorded there and when Mark’neill was accepted, it became real. My songs speak of my life’s experiences in Paris, where the album was completed, but my music is clearly influenced by the United States. He bears in himself the two influences.

Precisely, in several of your songs such as A Place to Call my Own or Wild , there is the idea of finding a place, getting to put some order in his life.

It was actually something of the order of the quest for meaning, faith, the idea of wandering due to my experience of the loneliness of big cities. All of this appears as a metaphor in the album. Musically speaking, I also wanted to put tributes hidden in the gospel, to the soul, but also a nod to reggae with the song Rise Up and Shine .

Marcus Miller, Norah Jones, MC Solaar, you have earned the first parts. With your concert at the Maroquinerie, it is you who will be the headliner.

Yes, all of these experiences have been important, but my best memory of first part is with Marcus Miller, a musician of incredible that I have followed on all of his French tour. It has been my school of the scene. For the Leather, I will be surrounded by a keyboard, a bass, my two backup singers and I will be the guitar and the voice. This is the first presentation live from my album, the beginning of something.

Tiwayo. Leather Goods. 23, rue Boyer (Xx). Tel.: 01 40 33 35 05. Date: march 5, 20 h. Place: 22 €.