Born into the Bizung lineage of talking drum chiefs of Northern Ghana, Alidu studied with his father from the age of 3 years old. Alidu’s father taught him the history of his tribe, singing and the language of the talking drum as his ancestors had done before him. By 5 years old, Alidu was accompanying his father to performances at the King’s palace. These performances helped to further open up the world of music to Alidu as he listened to different drum languages being played. At 15 years old, Alidu was considered one of the best talking drum players in the region.
In 1995, Alidu was invited to audition in Accra for the national dance company of Ghana – The Ghana Dance Ensemble. Alidu was selected from over 70 people to become the principal drummer for the company. While with the company, he traveled to the United States to perform in New York, Washington, DC and California. He also performed for President Clinton during his visit to Ghana.
In 2000, the director for Adzido, the largest pan-African dance company in Europe, watched performances of The Ghana Dance Ensemble in Accra. Alidu was invited to relocate to London and join the company, which he did for 3 years.
Alidu has performed in many countries throughout the world. In 2004, he spent one year in Madagascar, collaborating with local artists. It was there that he started to compose and perform his unique blend of Afropop music. The songs are not confined to fitting into the boundaries and structures of a specific musical tradition; they simply rise from a desire to make music that is both compelling and poignant.
Alidu’s musical journey has been informed by his profound understanding of the sounds that translate into music and his unique approach has made him a sought after musician and collaborator. Most recently, he was invited to join the multi-national collective known as the Playing For Change Band and has traveled the world promoting its message of Peace Through Music, sharing the stage with icons such as Toots Hibbert, Ziggy Marley and Keb’ Mo’.
Member of the Playing For Change Band
Finalist International Songwriting Competition (ISC) 2007
Performed with Baaba Maal during his US Tour 2006
Performed WOMAD Festival Singapore 2004
Performed as a solo artist for International Music Night at Albert Hall in London 2003
Invited to perform in Buckingham Palace for Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee 2002
Recorded on Peter Gabriel’s Ovo: Millennium CD in 2001
Invited, at 19 years old, to perform at the inauguration of President JJ Rawlings