Aïda (pronounced Eye-Da) was born in the beautiful Ivory Coast. Singing and dancing was so much a part of her rich African tradition and every activity was dressed with a ritual within the living of everyday life. At age six Aïda was making a name for herself as a dance troupe leader, offering lessons in choreography when she was not even old enough to know what the word meant. One grandmother was a professional dancer while the other a professional singer. Aïda 's mother has always been her main inspiration, her coach, and her rock when times were challenging.
In here teens, Aïda moved between the Ivory Coast and Grenoble in France, then entered University in Toulouse to study Social and Economic Administration. Through this period, much of the rich dance and music culture of her childhood was left behind for a more academic outlook. Then after turning 20, she took additional training, qualified as a gym instructor, moved from there back into dance. Traditional dancing from West Africa, modern jazz dance and salsa were perfected to the highest standard and Aïda began to make a good living as a professional dance performer. Two years later came the return to singing, and the cabaret market offered the opportunity to travel through France. With many good gigs in Toulouse it seemed like a nice place to settle for a little while.
Skully had his first gig as a DJ at age fourteen. His father was a showband man performing on the big stage so to Skully music was the family way of life. The Showband scene was not for the new generation so Skully followed the electronic path, partnering with many colleagues over the years to deliver their latest brew. Skully earned himself the name "Professor Skully" as testimony to his mastery of the new electronic music art form. Then came a band called "Chapterhouse" which reached the top of the ladder in terms of success picking up all the highest awards in Ireland. But this was not enough for the "Professor" and in frustration at not breaking the world market he took a seven-year retreat from the music business he so dearly loved. He moved to Toulouse, France where he became a teacher of the English language.
Métisse Form In 1997:
Skully knew that something was missing in his music. Coincidentally, many people were talking about this girl with an extraordinary voice that sang at a Cabaret in Toulouse. Skully followed the posters and went to hear Aïda sing. Blown away by her voice, he went away from that gig to write music that he later presented to her. Seriously impressed by what she heard, Aïda agreed to take the time to record a few songs...a mixture of true Celtic electronic wizardry and the beauty of all that is African. There and then they decided to work together and called themselves Métisse...meaning mixture... mixture of black and white, of African and European, of electronic and soul.
Next came the sending of demo tapes to all those record companies who had rejected previous efforts. But this time the answer was yes...and another yes..and another..and another. Every record company now wanted this incredible new cocktail of perfection. With many offers on the table Métisse's first step was to sign with Sony Music Publishing who were so impressed by the music that they offered a worldwide publishing deal to a band who as yet did not have a record deal. Up until now this was unheard of in the industry. Trevor Horn, the famous producer (Seal, "Video KIlled The Radio Star"), suggested that there was no point in tampering with Skully's work in a studio, as it was already perfect coming out of his own home studio and did not need re-mixing.
Then came the "big" deal with Telstar Records which was what Métisse had been holding out for. Next came the big money, the great video shoots, the great market exposure, the exotic locations, limousines, champagne etc. It all seemed so good until it came to a point where the music was becoming the least sacred aspect in a business that was market driven. Telstar were professional and genuinely considered to be one of the best in the music business. Anyway, debate arose over how best to "market" Métisse. Telstar and Métisse parted. Métisse bought their album back from Telstar...a rather gutsy move, and a gamble, but one that has proven to be inspirational, and the beginning of more success.
Soon after came one lucky break after another. Firstly, Madonna picked a Métisse song as title track to her movie "The Next Best Thing". Then came a list of successive licenses for high profile advertising campaigns, chart success, TV shows, the Olympic Games etc etc. Métisse themselves took on licensing their first album "My Fault" territory by territory around the world...an ambitious undertaking but again one which worked out very well. (Elsewhere on this site you will see listings of the great chart success which Métisse have enjoyed) Compilation album producers simply love the music of Métisse and the listing on the "compilations" page of this site is testimony to some of the success in this area.
So, where do Métisse go from here? The important thing for Skully and Aïda is always to do what they do best..make beautiful, intelligent and modern music that comes from the heart. They have achieved success on a risky venture but they have now proven just how "marketable" they are. The standard marketing formula did not apply but then it rarely does to products that are exceptional, no matter what industry you care to review. Things are going very well at present, who knows what the future holds. Skully and Aïda love what they do and hope they can inspire others or simply brighten up the day with their music.