“I really feel like I’m dreaming”
N’Famady Kouyaté has spoken to NME about the way it feels to have received a coveted Pyramid Stage slot at Worthy Farm this June after profitable Glastonbury‘s Rising Expertise Competitors 2023.
The Guinea-born, Cardiff-based artist emerged triumphant over eight different finalists and hundreds of on-line entries. He received over a judging panel together with Emily Eavis, DJ Huw Stephens and competition major stage bookers along with his revolutionary fusion of conventional West African music with parts of jazz, indie and funk.
“I really feel like I’m dreaming,” the winner instructed NME acting at Pilton’s Working Males’s Membership on Saturday (April 29). “That is my first ever award in my musical profession and I’m so glad it’s this as effectively. It’s a large pleasure for the competition to supply me this chance. I’m feeling superb.”
Kouyaté’s latest single ‘Balafô Douma’ references his personal journey into music. “That track means quite a bit to me, the title is a reference to the instrument I play referred to as the balafone which is sacred to West African tradition,” he defined. “I grew up enjoying it, my mum and pop taught me the best way to play that instrument so there’s loads of household heritage within the track. I’m glad I can carry that track all over the place I’m going, it’s a part of my story and journey.”
Kouyaté added that the award, which features a £5000 expertise improvement prize from PRS Basis, seems like a large carry for his profession as a complete.
“Generally you possibly can hit challenges as an rising artist and really feel like giving up, however issues like this offer you again life,” he mentioned. “I really feel able to work exhausting and hold going. I’ve been dreaming of days like this so I really feel prefer it’s lastly beginning to be realised.”
He continued to say how he’ll take this momentum into the recording of his debut album. “I’ve been enjoying an lively half on the Cardiff scene round numerous festivals however all focus now’s on the album,” he mentioned. “I’m simply ready to discover a appropriate producer who understands the place I need to take my music. We simply need to crack on for the following yr and use this chance as a launchpad.”
Shortly after confirming that every one of this yr’s Rising Expertise Competitors finalists will carry out at Glastonbury subsequent month, competition boss Emily Eavis instructed NME the way it was a “actually exhausting resolution” choosing only one winner.
“Lots of the acts proved they had been adequate to win and it was one of the vital passionate debates we’ve had amongst the judges for some time,” she mentioned.
“You could possibly inform from N’Famady’s unbelievable efficiency, and the response to it, that he actually is an rising expertise who deserves to be seen and heard by a a lot larger viewers. And we’re very grateful to have the ability to present a platform for him to take issues to the following stage.”
Talking on the opposite finalists – which included NME 100 stars Prima Queen and VLURE – Eavis mentioned discovering phases for them this coming June is at all times an thrilling activity.
“It’s been a stunning side of the competitors over latest years that we’ve typically been capable of finding a slot for all the acts, and I believe they’ll all slot in rather well onto one of many phases throughout the competition. I’m actually happy that they’ll all be capable of carry out. They’ve earned it!”
With previous winners together with Declan McKenna, Flohio and R.A.E, Eavis additionally harassed the continued significance of the competition’s Rising Expertise Competitors.
“To have the ability to supply one thing actually strong and provides a chance to play on the finals and on the competition is de facto thrilling. The brand new music aspect to the competition is one thing I’m actually enthusiastic about and I really like opening that as much as the brand new expertise.”
This yr’s Glastonbury Pageant will happen from June 21-25. Elton John, Weapons N’Roses and Arctic Monkeys will all be headlining the Pyramid Stage, whereas different acts on the line-up embrace Lana Del Rey, Lizzo, The Conflict On Medicine, Chvrches, Lil Nas X, Christine And The Queens and Manic Avenue Preachers. In the meantime, Yusuf/Cat Stevens has been booked for the coveted Legends Slot.