Momi Maiga stands out as a virtuoso on his instrument, the kora, as well as for his vocal fluidity and as a curious, self-taught composer with an amazing musical sensitivity. Momi was born in 1997 in Ziguinchor, the capital of Casamance, the southern region of Senegal. Immersed in a vast musical heritage, he grew up in the midst of the renowned Cissokho family, a family of Djelis. The Djelis of West Africa are dynasties of musicians, troubadours, mediators and transmitters of culture who have used music and songs to transmit history, values and messages of peace to society for centuries and up to the present day. Momi was educated among its rich musical traditions, learning the extensive repertoire of oral tradition, watching and listening. At the age of six he began to play the kora thanks to one of his uncles, Solo Cissokho (may he rest in peace), who had order to make a small kora when he saw little Momi’s interest in learning to play it. The kora is one of West Africa’s most revered instruments, and the Cissokho family have been the guardians of this 21 or 22 stringed African lute-harp for centuries. However, his journey as a musician began as a side musician at his uncles’ concerts and ceremonies as a percussionist. He only played the kora at home, in his room. All his uncles, grandparents and cousins play the kora, even a member of the family builds it. Many of them have an international professional career, as is the case of his uncles Solo Cissokho, Sadio Cissokho, Maher Cissokho and his cousins Seckou Keita, Amadou Susso, Suntu Susso, Ibou Cissokho among others. Thus, following the historical legacy of his family, his artistic heritage links him with a deep connection with the Mandinka traditions and their repertoires. His journey as a korist began in 2015, collaborating with the band of the renowned musician Ale Möller Band from Sweden. In 2016 he played a concert with the local Ziguinchor Hip Hop group Djali Kunda. In 2017 he traveled to France with the Dakar group Weuzz et le Samara. In 2018 he made his first stay in Barcelona, invited by the Barcelona Music Museum, and recorded the voice for the album Goor, by the pianist Adrià González. The same year he performed a concert at the Fuerteventura International Blues Festival, and a couple of concerts in Stockholm, Sweden.
A few months later, in mid-2019, Momi was once again invited to Spain through the Barcelona Museum of Ethnology and World Cultures. It is at this moment that he decides to settle in Catalonia in order to shape his projects and record his first album. Shortly after, meetings and live collaborations with musicians such as Ferran Savall, Judit Neddermann, Ignacio María Gómez, Aleix Tobias, among others, begin. Maiga quickly distinguishes himself as a daring composer and eager to merge with other musicians and musical genres. He sings mainly in Mandinka and Wolof, while reflecting on outstanding themes of our time and the importance of preserving the purest human values, such as solidarity, respect, love and dignity.
In his first debut album entitled Nio, he presents a work in which he combines ethnic jazz, flamenco and the sounds of his Mandinka roots. He fuses the kora with classical instruments such as the violin and cello, and embarks on a journey that leads to the start of a promising musical career. With a spectacular premiere at the end of 2021 at the Fira Mediterrània in Manresa, Momi drew the attention of national and international promoters. He gets a premature sold out, and the standing audience clearly shows their enthusiastic admiration. This summer has been touring in the Spanish main capitals like Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Seville.
Media such as World Music Charts Europe, Transglobal Music Chart, RTVE, TV3, All Ears Music Review, Network of Local Televisions of Catalonia, Rac 1, Catalonia Radio, Radio 3, Radio 4, Radio IB3, Enderrock Magazine, among others, have been echoing the progress of the young Senegalese artist for months, who in each performance leaves an emotional mark on the audience, journalists, promoters and programmers who are in the show.