Miço Kendes was born into a Kurdish family in northern Syria bordering Turkey. Miço is Kurdish, Swiss and French singer, composer and buzuk player. He says himself that he started to sing when he learned to talk. From a very early age he was sensitive to all forms of musical expression, and he drank in the stories, songs and epics which he heard in the evenings, performed by a singer and storyteller - in other countries he would be called a bard – who came to the family home. These legends, mostly epics, constituted the world of Miço Kendes’ imagination.
He also learned much from his grandmother, who sang him endless and fantastic stories, transmitting to him the oral tradition of the Kurds of this region.
Starting at primary school, he never lost a chance to make his voice heard at song contests and local festivals. He sang in Arabic or Kurdish, depending on the circumstances. He taught himself to play the tambura and the buzuk, two traditional plucked stringed instruments.
When he moved to Aleppo to continue his schooling, he seized the opportunity to continue his musical education, mainly taking private lessons with recognized musicians. He studied Arabic music and singing and learned to play the lute. He also got to know the Persian and Turkish traditions. He took part in many musical activities, was the lead-singer in a group, played a leading part in musical events at the university and published articles on music.
In his search for authentic sources, Miço Kendes has unearthed recordings of traditional and almost forgotten singers. He has collected hundreds of Kurdish songs, seldom recorded and then only available in old and mediocre versions. His interest in his musical heritage springs from his desire to serve this popular memory with his magnificent voice. His mastery of the vocal techniques of his region enables him to sing in a variety of registers; he is perfectly at home in several traditional repertoires. He also performs his own settings of poems by contemporary authors, including himself.
He has recorded a CD of traditional and popular Kurdish songs, often by unknown authors, which he interprets in a style both personal and faithful to his cultural roots (Memê Alan, Amori, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2001). Subsequently he has given concerts in Europe and taken part in TV and radio programs. He has been the subject of several newspaper articles.
He is accompanied in performance by musicians playing the qanun, violin, buzuk, daff and balaban (flute). He can also accompany himself on the buzuk with a supporting percussionist.