Baaba Maal

Genres: Dance Music Videos & Concerts Pop / Rock World Music
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

12 November 1953, Podor, Senegal. Vocalist and guitarist Maal had humble origins, growing up in the sparsely populated town of Podor, where his father worked in the fields, but also had the honour of calling worshippers to the mosque using song. The influence of Islam would remain central to his son’s activities too, both father and son being members of the Fulani community, which originally brought the Muslim religion to the area. His mother was also a musician, writing her own songs, though the influence of imported western sounds (via transistor radio) such as Otis Redding and James Brown, then reggae ambassador Jimmy Cliff, would also have a profound influence. After winning a scholarship to the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, he travelled widely throughout Senegal and neighbouring Mali and Mauritania, studying the traditional music of the area. ‘It’s very important for young modern musicians in Africa to do a lot of...

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