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Senegal

♣  Youssou N’Dour . . .  Cheikh Lô . . . Baaba Maal

YND¤  Born in 1959 in Dakar, Senegal, Youssou N’Dour is a a singer, percussionist, songwriter, composer, occasional actor, businessman and a politician. In 2004, Rolling Stone described him as, perhaps the most famous singer alive in Senegal and much of Africa. Since April 2012, he has been Senegal’s Minister of Tourism and Culture. N’Dour helped to develop a style of popular Senegalese music known in the Serer language as ‘mbalax’, which derives from the conservative Serer music tradition of Njuup.

  ⇓  Birima

Maysa tende jodo yaa moom liile (3x)
Hi woy Birima fumu yendu ma yendu fa yendo naanee . . .

Buri samba laobe yaa moom liile (3x)
Hi woy Birima fumu yendu ma yendu fa yendo naanee . . .
Damel maisa Penda Joor – Jooro Jooro Jooro Jooro Ho Ho Ho Hoy
Sama waaji ken dula jam naani
Woy Birima fumu yendu ma yendu fa yendo naanee
mmmm mmm …  Wooy Tedi Ngoné maarne be Sambaa
Kuli baca senge ndat Biran ngamoo
Ngoné maca nas mbay maca jeeri
Samba yaasimooooo dike mbay Kuja dooooki
Yay borom mbaboor…….mi
Hi (di) woy Birima Sama waaji ken dula jam naanee
Woy Birima fumu yendu ma yendu fa yendo naanee
Dogo fal ak mawa joor Kumba samba yaay jaloor
Dogo dogo . Ho ho ho !!
Aziz o mbay dogo xam nga yoon wee
Woy Birima fumu yendu ma yendu fa yendo naanee
Maisa tendo jooro jooro a mari ngone sobel Kayor niila
Woy Birima fumu yendu ma yendu fa yendo naanee

He assumed the throne of Cajor and became well-known for his festive reign
Where every occasion was reason for celebration in great style
Having inherited a rich oral tradition, he encouraged local musicians
And his patronage gave rise to the flourishing of the music known as mbaboor
Ah! Birima! A day spent in your presence was the picture of hospitality!

This music was transmitted by the griots who painted vivid portraits of the kingdom
Mbaboor became inextricably linked to the history of Cajor
Most importantly, it forged a new and enduring link between royalty and the common people
Where relations had been different before
As the classes lived and struggled and celebrated together
Common experience allowed them to identify with one another
Ah! Birima! A day spent in your presence was the picture of hospitality!

∞  with Dido  ↓  7 Seconds  [2005]

Boul ma sene, boul ma guiss madi re nga fokni mane  
 [Don’t see me from a distance, don’t look at my smile
Khamouma li neka thi sama suuf ak thi guinaw             
And think that I don’t know what’s under and behind me
Beugouma kouma khol daldine yaw li neka si yaw      
don’t want you to look at me & think what’s in you is in me
Mo ne si man li ne si mane moye dilene diapale             
What’s in me is to help them]
 
Roughness and rudeness, we should be using
On the ones who practice wicked charms
For the sword and the stone, bad to the bone
Battle’s not over even when it’s won
And when a child is born into this world
It has no concept of the tone the skin is living in
 
It’s not a second, seven seconds away – Just as long as I stay, I’ll be waiting . . .
I’ll be waiting, I’ll be waiting
 
J’assume les raisons qui nous poussent de changer tout        
[…the reasons that push us to change everything
J’aimerais qu’on oublie leur couleur pour qu’ils espèrent      
I’d like us to forget about their color 
Beaucoup de sentiments de race qui font qu’ils désespèrent    
Too many views on race make them hopeless
Je veux les deux mains ouvertes –                                                  I want the doors wide open
Des amis pour parler de leur peine                                             so they can talk about their sorrow
De leur joie pour qu’ils leur filent                                            And joy, then we can give them
Des infos qui ne divisent pas changer                             information that will bring us all together]
 
Seven seconds away – Just as long as I stay, I’ll be waiting
It’s not a second, seven seconds away
Just as long as I stay, I’ll be waiting … I’ll be waiting . . .
 
And when a child is born into this world
It has no concept of the tone the skin is living in
And there’s a million voices – And there’s a million voices
To tell you what she should be thinking
So you better sober up for just a second
Seven seconds away
Just as long as I stay, I’ll be waiting
It’s not a second, seven seconds away
Just as long as I stay, I’ll be waiting . . .
⇓  live in Fes   [2011]

∞  Cheikh Lo’s song ‘Set’ [Ne la thiass – 1996], featuring Youssou N’Dour.

¤  Cheikh Lô is one of the great mavericks of African music. A singer and songwriter as well as a distinctive guitarist, percussionist, and drummer, he has personalized and distilled a variety of influences from West and Central Africa, to create a style that is uniquely his own.

cheikh-lo

Lô dedicates both his life and music to Baye Fall, a specifically Senegalese form of Islam and part of the larger Islamic brotherhood of Mouridism. Established by Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba M’Becke at the end of the 19th century, Mouridism emerged from opposition to French colonialism and many fabulous stories are told of Bamba’s struggles with the authorities who feared that the rapid spread of Mouridism would inspire armed insurrection. Bamba’s closest disciple Cheikh Ibra Fall (also known as Lamp Fall) established the Baye Fall movement, and he was the first to wear the patchwork clothes and long dreadlocks that are still Baye Fall trademarks today. Cheikh Lô’s own marabout, Maame Massamba N’Diaye is said to be over 100 years old, and was a disciple of Cheikh Ibra Fall; Cheikh Lô wears his picture in a pendant around his neck.

Cheikh Lô was born in 1955, to Senegalese parents in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, not far from the border with Mali, where he grew up speaking Bambara (language of Mali), Wolof (language of Senegal), and French. His father was from a long line of marabouts.

During his teens, he listened to all kinds of music, especially the Congolese Rumba, which was popular throughout Africa. Cuban music was also all the rage in West Africa at the time;  Cheikh, without understanding a word, would mime exactly to the Spanish lyrics. At 21, he started singing and playing percussion with Orchestra Volta Jazz in Bobo Dioulasso. The band played a variety of music from Burkina Faso and its neighboring countries, as well Cuban and other styles.

In 1981, he moved to Dakar, Senegal, where he played drums for the renowned and progressive singer Ouza before joining the house band at the Hotel Savana, drumming and singing an international repertoire. Then in 1984, he moved to Paris and worked as a studio session drummer.

Youssou N’Dour first encountered Lô as a session singer in 1989. “Whenever he sang the choruses, I was overwhelmed by his voice,” explains N’Dour, “but I really got to know him from his cassette Doxandeme. I heard his voice and said, ‘Wow.’ I found something in his voice that’s like a voyage through Burkina, Niger, Mali.”

Lô continued to develop his own repertoire, holding out for the best recording conditions for his next production. On hearing Lô’s new songs, N’Dour immediately agreed to produce, and, in August 1995, they went to work in N’Dour’s Xippi Studio in Dakar on the album Ne La Thiass.

The album sees Lô joined on vocals by Youssou N’Dour (“Guiss Guiss” and “Set”) and by musicians from N’Dour’s Super Etoile de Dakar. Lô’s signature sound—a semi-acoustic, Spanish-tinged take on the popular mbalax style—was an instant success in Senegal, gaining him a dedicated local following. “Set,” a plea to clean up the streets during a Dakar municipal strike, was broadcast on loudspeakers throughout the country in a campaign by the Ministry of Health.

Cheikh Lô is an artist unlike any other in music. It’s not just his unique appearance—with long dreadlocks and his colorful patchwork clothes—that sets him apart; his career is constantly evolving, incorporating influences from around the world. Wherever his musical journey takes him, he will surely remain rooted to his Baye Fall beliefs and, no matter what, will always sound like Cheikh Lô.

↓  Jamm

•→Afrikafestival Hertme_ 2007

guiss guiss 

•→  Cheikh Lô – Festival Med – 2012

¤  Baaba Maal

Unlike most Senegalese stars, who come from Dakar and sing in Wolof, Baaba Maal comes from the northern region and sings in the Peul language. In West African culture, tradition dictates that the ancient griot caste must produce the singers and storytellers, and Maal was born in the city of Podor in 1953 into the fisherman’s caste. Despite his parents’ insistence that he become a lawyer, he grew up surrounded by music, absorbing both the traditional sounds of the region as well as American R&B and soul, later discovering jazz and blues. As a teen Maal moved to Dakar, joining the 70-piece orchestra Asly Fouta and teaming with his guitarist friend Mansour Seck to form the group Lasli Fouta; during the early ’80s, the duo also spent several years in Paris, where they recorded the 1984 album Djam Leelii. Upon returning to Senegal, Maal formed the group Daande Lenol — literally, “The Voice of the Race” — and began honing a highly distinctive sound fusing traditional African music with elements of pop and reggae.    [Jason Ankeny]

NGalu  ↓

 Yela  ↓

Miyaabele  ↓


Dreams of Kirina  ↓

∞  BAABA MAAL & TAJ MAHAL  ↓  TROUBLE SLEEP YANGA WAKE AM   [F. Kuti]
Don’t kick people when they are down, Nor bother them at inappropriate times:
There is a limit to patience. When things are calm,
Don’t start trouble by bothering people who are struggling to get by.

When Trouble sleep, Yanga go wake am,
Waking him dey find PALAVER, go get-e

PALAVER, HE DEY FIND
Palaver, he go get-e o
PALAVER, HE GO GET
Palaver

When cat sleep,  Rat go bite him tail,
Waking him dey find,
PALAVER, HE DEY FIND
Palaver, he go get-e o
PALAVER, HE GO GET
Palaver

My friend come from prison,
Him dey look for work,
Waka waka day and night,
Police man come stop am for road,
He say, “Mister, I charge you for wandering”
Waking him dey find  PALAVER, HE DEY FIND
Palaver, and dey get  PALAVER, AND GO GET
Palaver . . .

♦→  SOUKA NAYA  ( i will follow you ) ↓
Senegal
•→Baaba Maal + Samba Diabaré Samb

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