Oh que le temps passe: The Legacy of Gnonnas Pedro
Gnonnas Pedro was a legendary singer, songwriter and musician from Benin, who was known for his fusion of African rhythms with salsa, funk and soul. He was one of the founding members of the Afro-Latin supergroup Africando, and also had a successful solo career that spanned over four decades.
One of his most popular songs is “Oh que le temps passe”, which means “Oh how time flies” in French. The song is a nostalgic reflection on the passage of time and the changes that it brings. It is also a tribute to his homeland and its culture, which he sings with pride and affection.
“Oh que le temps passe” is a timeless classic that celebrates the beauty and diversity of African music and culture. It is also a reminder of the importance of cherishing our memories and our roots, as time goes by.
In 1970, he formed his own band, Pedro y sus Panchos, which later became Gnonnas Pedro and his Dadjes Band. The band was known for its energetic performances and its fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythms with highlife, funk and soul. They toured extensively in West Africa and Europe, and recorded several albums that showcased Pedro’s talent as a singer and songwriter.
In 1994, Pedro joined the Afro-Latin supergroup Africando, which featured some of the best singers and musicians from Africa and Latin America. He became the lead singer of the group, replacing the late Pape Seck. He brought his unique style and charisma to the group, and contributed some of his own songs, such as “Yaye Boy”, “Dacefo” and “Miye Na We”. He also sang some of the classic songs of Africando, such as “Betece”, “Aicha” and “Sey”.
With Africando, Pedro gained international recognition and acclaim. He performed at prestigious venues and festivals around the world, such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Lincoln Center and the Barbican Centre. He also collaborated with other artists, such as Youssou N’Dour, Salif Keita and Cheikh Lo.
Unfortunately, Gnonnas Pedro’s brilliant career was cut short by a fatal illness. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003, and underwent several surgeries in France. However, none of them were successful, and he decided to return to his homeland to spend his last days. He died on August 12, 2004, at the age of 61, in a hospital in Cotonou. He left behind a legacy of music that touched millions of people around the world.
Gnonnas Pedro was mourned by his fans, friends and fellow artists. He was praised for his contribution to African music and culture, and for his role as an ambassador of Afro-Latin fusion. He was also remembered for his charisma, his generosity and his passion for life. His songs continue to inspire and entertain new generations of listeners, who discover his voice and his message through his recordings and performances.