After the solo album '22 Strings' and the collaborations with Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, Senegalese kora-master Seckou Keita joined forces with Italian guitarist Antonio Forcione and Brazilian percussionist Adriano Adewale, for a project they called the AKA Trio. AKA stands for "also known as", used to indicate that someone uses a pseudonym instead of his real name, but also comes close to being an acronym of the first letters of the trio's names (Antonio, Keita and Adewale). The story of the AKA Trio began as early as 2011, when the trio sold out five shows at the famous Edinburgh Festival. Seckou can still remember those first concerts: "It was powerful, an amazing concept in a way - ideal musicians, ideal talent. The joy of feeling secure with the musicians you play with, not worrying that a note will be left hanging. The security of three people feeling like seven on stage. And the joy of knowing that your smile is out there, in the audience.". All three of them like to talk about freedom within the AKA Trio or involvement as Adriano calls it: "We put the music first. It's not about me or him; it's about the music we make. That's the healer. And it's funny, from different countries, from different experiences; we've almost reached the same intensity. The same answer. To have three people from three different continents, really like a family, in harmony, and doing it, it speaks for itself. There's nothing more to be said.". For 'Joy', the trio neatly divided their compositions between instrumentals and vocal versions (with Keita always providing lead vocals). Title track 'Joy' nicely sums up what the AKA Trio is all about: improvising together until a song almost spontaneously emerges and the joy you experience as a musician. In 'Kanou', Mandinka for love, Seckou looks back on his past relationships to come to the conclusion that the perfect woman really doesn't exist, in 'Empathy', composed by Antonio, Keita talks about the overvaluation of money in our capitalist consumer society, where empathy and humanity are losing more and more importance, and finally 'Uncle Solo' is an ode to Seckow's uncle, the master kora player Jali Solo Cissokho. As far as yours truly is concerned, the almost meditative sound of 'Joy' is an extension of Seckou's previous collaborations, this time making his kora beautifully dialogue with Forcione's guitar ('The Beautiful Game', an instrumental ode to football, what else?).