Magic System

This video caught my eyes and ears the other day. 

It's the song "Sweet Fanta Diallo (Adieu Soleil)" by the group Magic System. They're a band from the Ivory Coast. 

I first heard about the tune from my friend and colleague Anastasia Tsioulcas over at NPR

Tsioulcas says the song has been a big summer hit across West Africa. "It has a very catchy chorus that you're gonna find inescapeable."

The song isn't new. It's a cover of a much older song by another Ivory Coast artist, Alpha Blondy


Sweet Fanta Diallo is about having a crush on a beautiful woman. 

"There's all this sort-of dreamy, very sweet imagery in this song," says Tsioulcas.

But, near the end of the original, the song takes a strange turn. Sweet Fanta Diallo ends up in a psychiatric hospital. And Alpha Blondy sings "now I know I did you wrong." 

Interestingly, this verse doesn't exist in Magic System's version. 

Tsioulcas thinks one reason is "the fact that Alpha Blondy may be singing about his own personal experiences." Afterall Alpha Blondy spent some time in a hospital in real life. So maybe this verse was too autobiograpical for Magic System to include in their version. 

Or, she suggests, "Magic System wanted a big, comfortable sounding hit, beacuse without that edge, you have a very sweet, innocuous, very catchy pop tune."

I would have to agree.

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