Binetou Sylla, a music producer and Rinse Radio DJ, is digitising an extensive back catalogue of African records, CDs and cassettes to make the music accessible to a younger generation of fans. She’s the owner of Paris-based label Syllart Records, and her cache of African music is apparently one of the largest in the world.
Syllart Records was originally founded by Binetou’s father, the producer Ibrahim Sylla. Since its establishment in 1981, the label has since been dubbed ‘the Motown of African Music’, owing to the hundreds of Afrobeat, pop, funk and electro records recorded between 1978 and 2013 that comprise its collection. Highlights from the archive include albums by Senegalese bands Orchestra Baobab and Gëstu de Dakar, plus works by the Cape Verdean funaná group Bulimundo.
Speaking to the BBC in January 2022, for a video feature titled Africa’s lost ‘Motown’ years rediscovered’, Binetou expressed her desire for this “forgotten heritage” to become a foundation for a new generation of hip-hop producers through the means of sampling and easy online streaming.