With her new EP Zandoli, Belgian-Caribbean artist Charlotte Adigéry proves herself to be a consummate storyteller. Sometimes patently silly, sometimes deeply introspective, Adigéry’s ever-wandering mind spins tales that are absurd and poignant and ridiculously fun. Having been taught the ropes by her Martinique-born mother –namely rhythm’s relationship to musicality and the importance of a sense of humour– Adigéry is a persuasive young artist who can sing about lizards one moment and latex the next.
A descendent of a Nigerian Yoruba tribe that worked its way out of slavery on the faraway island of Martinique, Adigéry likes to draw inspiration from her Caribbean ancestors’ musical traditions. Opening track ‘Paténipat’ features a chanted chorus of “zandoli pa té ni pat” –a Creole mnemonic that means “the gecko didn’t have any legs”– which perfectly enunciates the rhythms of the GWO KA dances that would have swayed the islanders of Martinique a century ago. A zandoli, by the way, is a lizard normally found climbing the walls of Caribbean homes.