Biography

Mina Agossi was born in France in 1972 to French and West African parents, both of whom had backgrounds in performance arts. Mina found herself drawn to the stage and also followed in her mother’s footsteps by finding a love of travel. This passion led to her studying Theatre in many different countries, including Niger, Morocco, and France. After graduating in 1990, Mina continued to travel, spending time in both the US and Spain, before returning to France in 1992. Once back home Mina found herself singing some blues as a favour for a saxophonist friend the experience changed her life, so much so she immediately knew she was to become a professional singer. 1993 saw Mina on the move again this time only as far as Brittany, where she was recruited by a Swing & New Orleans jazz band. This was her first taste of success, as very quickly the band was regularly gigging both in France and across the channel in Ireland.

Mina found herself increasingly interested in, and attracted to, modern Jazz. The result of this, in 1995 being an album co-created with a double bass player. This album made of original co-written tunes and using no wind, brass or keyboard instruments was the beginning of a very personal style ‘Voice & Bass’- that would stay with her right up until the present day.

In 1997 the CD won the prize of ‘Young Self-Produced Talents’ from the French organisation FNAC. This gave her the chance to develop her skills through two special master classes, one in Boston with Shelia Jordan, and the other in France with Jeanne Lee. These experiences helped Mina mature as a singer, and enabled her to take her voice in the unique direction that makes her so distinguishable now.

After moving to Paris Mina teamed up with drummer Philippe Combelle, with whom she produced her second album, ‘Alkemi’ in 2001. This CD won critical acclaim and received a Five Star release in classical magazine ‘Diapason’, plus a special recognition in Jazz Magazine.

After ‘Alkemi’, Mina created a new band with instrumental masters Alexandre Hiele on the double bass and Bertrand Perrin on drums. With this line up Mina found great success continually touring Europe and the US with new, original compositions and her own re-working of standards. By this time people were really starting to take notice of this little lady with the huge voice, and offers started flooding in for Mina to sing with other bands. She regularly performs with the likes of Adam Pieronscyk ‘Amos’, Spirit of Life Ensemble, Mukta, and Archie Shepp.

Just after the attacks of September 11, ‘E-Zpass to Brooklyn’ was recorded by Mina, live in Brooklyn. This album saw her heading deeper down the self-forged path of her by now unique sound. With imitations of free jazz sax solos and scratching in the microphone, Mina mixes many different musical styles, from hip hop to world to jazz, blues, rock, throwing them around, often when least expected.

In 2004 Mina Agossi signed to British jazz label Candid Records, and immediately made a massive impact with performances during the Candid Jazz Week in London. Still backed by Alex Hiele and Bertrand Perrin Mina’s album ‘Zaboom’ was released in May 2005. This collection of creative originals and startling re-interpretations of familiar classics has a really fresh approach that gives the vocal scene a much-needed push in the opposite direction.

Mina Agossi’s very personal approach to music is also evident in her second Candid album, Well You Needn’t, released in March 2006. She employs a spartan Drum’n’bass, backing which has become an essential part and parcel of her persona. Mina has a predilection for the work of Jimi Hendrix and captures the essence of Hendrix probably better than anyone else in the track ‘Voodoo Chile’ from this latest album.

The very diverse, intense and emotional nature of this artist continues to enthrall her growing legion of admirers

Edited by CelesteBacon on 8 Nov 2006, 11:26

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