French ‘Afro Trap’ superstar
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“Mohamed Sylla (AKA MHD) is the half Guinean, half Senegalese rapper creating ‘le son du jour’ from the Parisian banlieues.”
HALF A BILLION YOUTUBE VIEWS
100 MILLION + SPOTIFY STREAMS
In a short 18 months, MHD aka ‘the prince of afro-trap’ has become one of the globe’s biggest new music stars, with a double platinum album, half a billion views of his videos and the world’s biggest pop and sports like Drake, Didier Drogba and Paul Pogba doing his signature ‘le mouv’ dance.
Still only 22 years old, 18 months ago MHD, was a pizza deliveryman in one of Paris’s poorer suburbs. He grew up in Paris’s 20th, 18th and 19th arrondiseement and his rise has been meteoric since he invented a wildly popular new hybrid sound he dubbed ‘Afro Trap’ – a mixture of African music (rhythms like ‘cut off’ and ‘azonto’) and trap rap music.
It all began in August 2015, when he went on holiday with his friend to Montpellier in the South of France. Listening to the song ‘Shekini’ by Nigerian rap group P-Square MHD started free-styling on the instrumental outro and then he posted the video on his social networks. The reaction was so immediate he decided to create more video on his return to Paris. His first video ‘Afro Trap Part.1 (La Moula)’ also spread like wild fire. He started making more – ,regularly dropping new brilliant cinematic videos, his popularity got to such a level that the dance that comes with ‘Afro Trap 4. (Fais Le Mouv)’ took off in the French mainstream and went viral, becoming an anthem for French footballers who do the dance like Adrien Rabiot (PSG), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon) or Cheick Diabaté (Metz) and the Ivorian super star Didier Drodga. ‘Le mouv’ is celebration dance in the Paris Saint Germain and Manchester United locker rooms and he counts French international and Man United player Paul Podga as a friend. He’s played show all around the world, including in his paternal home of Guinea where he played a stadium show to 100,000 people.
In April 2016 he collected the songs he had made videos for (Afro Trap Parts 1 to 8) as well as new songs and released his debut LP in France. It’s now double platinum and he was named ‘Best International Act’ at the BET Awards in the US – unprecedented for a French-speaking act. And just last Sunday he headlines a night the MIA’s curated Meltdown Festival at London’s Southbank Centre.
Now he reveals his latest single ‘Bravo’ out now.