Gwendoline Absalon will unveil her new single and video clip (directed by Allison Gran) “KIF- KIF” on its release November 15, 2023, on Ting Bang / InOuïe Distribution.
The word KIF-KIF has come into common parlance in French long time ago as synonymous with “the same”, this expression of Arab origin sets the tone for the new single of the Reunion island singer Gwendoline Absalon. But beware, it is even more meaningful! Give each other his share and a little more if it can improve his home, his entourage, humanity! Then… “KIFFER” -with two f this time- be aware of one’s place in the world, take it without being afraid…
Here is in essence the new message wonderfully carried by Gwendoline Absalon, after the release of her second album Vangasay (TING BANG/ L’Autre Distribution) which made her one of the major figures of the Reunion scene. Composed by the singer and interpreted with this still captivating voice, the song is enriched by a featuring of the Reunion singer Pix’L. The two artists evolve in different universes: him, urban music, her, world music, but both are children of maloya.
Enjoying each other’s career, they unexpectedly found themselves on stage in mainland France and Gwendoline shared the stage of Pix’L in late 2022 at the Teat Champ fleuri (Reunion). In KIF-KIF, the voice of Pix’L suddenly emerges, absolutely masterful, for a detonating duo, imagined by the arranger-director of Gwendoline, the pianist Hervé Celcal. KIF-KIF is then a
complete single, loaded with a strong history which irresistibly invites to dance.
Singer Gwendoline Absalon, born in St. Denis, La Réunion in 1992, of Malbar origin, already has a beautiful musical career. Music began with a family initiation, her uncle who is a musician, made her sing background vocals for a Maloya album when she was only 10 years old. She also owes playing the guitar to him
Paradoxally Gwendoline chose music as a result of a struggle against prohibitions imposed by a strict education. At home, they listened to Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Cesaria Evora, but there was no celebrating, no partying. Therefore, it is her unique determination that led her to sing. She first studies classical singing and stage presence techniques. At 17 she wins “la Caravane des Talents” contest. At the same age, she meets musicians in high school among whom the pianist Matthieu Brillant. With him she wins another contest, “La Réunion’s best jazz singer” in 2010. This will lead her to do the first parts of Manu Katché and Hugh Coltman’s concerts at the “Téat Plein Air”, in La Réunion. She will also be by Eric Legnini’s side for a series of master classes on the island.
Gwendoline leaves La Réunion for Bordeaux (a large community from the island is studying there) to live a young woman’s life in her manner. There, she starts studying music-therapy, graduates and starts working with heavily disabled people. In Bordeaux, one December night, chance leads her to a “fèt kaf” (Ceremony of the “Cafres” – descendants of African slaves) where young people are playing a Maloya, music that she neglected for so long. She takes it as a sign and decides to undertake her first album. This will be followed by a encounter with guitarist Rija Randrianivosoa (performing on second album Vangasay) and drums player Hugo Bertil. Her first album Dig Dig is released in 2018 (live extract: Voulvoul lamour) and directed by Rija. The album boosts Gwendoline’s success in La Réunion where she returns with a renewed spirituality that has nothing to do with religion.
Two years later, a very decisive encounter with the pianist, arranger, composer and producer Hervé Celcal leads to Vangasay (name of a fruit), her second album. In Vangasay, the warm and clear voice of this young pathfinder invites everybody to assert their identity, in an astonishing Creole poetry. The musical arrangements by Hervé Celcal, between pop and world-music, an
homage to tradition and fountain of youth at the same time, perfectly serve this upcoming artist’s philosophy. Since then, she has imposed herself as one of the upcoming figures of the young music-scene of La Reunion, as a guest in the major musical events of the island. She also had the opportunity to play Vangasay in Cape Verde, Portugal and Spain (summers 2022 and 2023) and
France (Studio de l’Ermitage, 360 Factory, Sunside – Paris ; Jazz Nancy Festival…).