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Wally Badarou
Background information
Birth name Waliou Jacques Daniel Badarou
Born Paris, France
Date 22 March 1955
Occupation Musician
Instruments Synthesizer
Associated acts Level 42
Grace Jones
Power Station
Musician

Waliou Jacques Daniel Badarou (born 22 March 1955, Paris, France) is a musician from Benin, whose work has included performing on the Power Station's Living In Fear and Power Station albums.

Career Edit

A synthesizer specialist, Badarou is best known as the longtime associate of the British band Level 42, known for its blend of funk, pop, soul and rock. He has co-written, performed on and (later) co-produced a number of the band's tracks since its debut album in 1981. Though not an official member of Level 42, he has long been considered an informal "fifth member" of what has otherwise usually been a quartet led by bassist Mark King. Badarou can be seen in the video for "Love Games" on the Level 42 - The Collection DVD.

A friend of Chris Blackwell (Island Records founder), Badarou also got enlisted in the Compass Point All Stars, to work on albums by Grace Jones, Joe Cocker, Sly and Robbie, Black Uhuru, Jimmy Cliff, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, Gregory Isaacs, Gwen Guthrie, Mick Jagger, Robert Palmer, Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, but also worked with Marianne Faithfull, Herbie Hancock, Robin Scott "M" (Pop Muzik), Foreigner, Power Station, Melissa Etheridge, Manu Dibango, and Miriam Makeba; produced albums by Fela Kuti, Salif Keita, Wasis Diop, Trilok Gurtu, and Carlinhos Brown; and wrote movie soundtracks (part of Hector Babenco Kiss of the Spider Woman most notably).

In 1989, he acted as musical director and composer for Jean-Paul Goude's show on the French Revolution, Bicentennial.

In 1990, Massive Attack's "Daydreaming" (subsequently appearing on the Blue Lines album) is largely sampled from "Mambo" (on the Echoes album, 1984).

In 1997, Badarou helped setting up the All African Music Kora Awards, and produced & co-wrote "So Why" for the ICRC, along with Youssou N'Dour and Papa Wemba, a call against ethnic cleansing in Africa.

Early promoter of the "home studio" concept, he is known for his extensive use of the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, the New England Digital Synclavier, and his custom voice-control of Yamaha mixing boards.

November 2009, he releases Fisherman, a 15 minute afro-funk instrumental that he sells directly from his website using the GetJuke technology. Fisherman is the first extract from an upcoming trilogy he has spent years writing. He wishes to unveil it to the public "song by song" before releasing it under a physical format: "at very long last, you are to receive the music that never stopped haunting me all these years. The whole of this Unnamed Trilogy will be available as a physical collector set, once the three albums are fully revealed."

Discography Edit

Solo Edit

  • 1979 Back to scales tonight
  • 1983 Echoes
  • 1989 Words of a mountain
  • 1997 So Why
  • 2001 Colors of silence : Musical poetry for yoga
  • 2009 Fisherman

Movie score Edit

Producer (co-producer) Edit

Session Player Edit

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