••• March 22nd, 1955 Photo - Daouda Badarou (my father) and Emilie Kpakpo (my mother), then both students at the Faculté de Médecine de Paris, just got married the year before. Plus

••• Medicine students in Dakar, Senegal (where they met), both my parents showed the sort of skills that would eventually lead them to pursue their studies in France, the 'metropole'. The eldest of three, back then, I grew up mainly in France with my brother Idriss and my sister Mouni.

••• Those were the early years of Johnny Hallyday-led 'ye-ye' music amidst Indochina and Algerian quagmire, burgeoning french 'nouvelle vague', and Gagarine vs Glenn race. But my father's turntable was mostly busy with classical music such as Smetana "Moldau", Beethoven Violin concerto, Schubert "Unfinished", Saint-Saens "Carnaval des Animaux", Tchaikovski "Casse-Noisette", and Borodine "Polovtsian Dances".

••• These would share my father's loudspeakers with movie soundtrack classics like Maurice Jarre's "Doctor Jivago" & "Lawrence of Arabia", or Lavagnino "Empire du Soleil". I couldn't tell which was classical, which was soundtrack, but altogether they've had a strong impact on me, although I wouldn't swear I really loved them back then. I felt more intused with the voices of Sarah Vaughn or Nat King Cole somewhat ...

••• For my 7th birthday, I was offered my first instrument ... a toy piano, you know, the one with colored stickers over the keys so you could color-read and perform. Then the whole family headed to Africa later that year, December 1962.

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Sun, Jan 3, 2010

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