The Rough Guide To The Music Of Senegal

Senegal has long been an epicentre of West African musical creativity. With its rich griot tradtion and expansive urban centres, Senegalese music can be everything from far-reaching ancient roots to sci-fi modern grooves.

This Rough Guide includes the work of some of Senegal’s most astronomical superstars. A young Youssou N’Dour is heard playing with his group Etoile De Dakar on the track ‘Thiely’. N’Dour put Senegal on the world’s musical map three decades ago with his groundbreaking mbalax sound heard here in resplendent vintage style.  Baaba Maal’s music has roots in traditional Fulani music, and he has asceneded to international fame via his mix of rootsy music with modern social concerns – hear his soaring voice on classic track ‘Baydikacce’. Cheikh Lo’s relaxed Baye Fall grooves are heard on ‘Jamm’. His music sparkles with Afro-Cuban and reggae flavours. Nuru Kane hails from Dakar and infuses his music with Moroccan gnawa grooves.

Alongside tracks from big names, this Rough Guide showcases some of the country’s hottest new talents. Check out Sister Fa’s socio-conscious rap on hip-hop track ‘Amy Jotna’. Amadou Diange is a griot whose songwriting is delivered with a distinctive voice, accompanied by his bluesy acoustic guitar, traditional drumming and the occasional glittering kora. ‘Diamano’ reflects Amadou’s interest in African jazz and includes a bright-toned solo saxophone.

The bonus disc features a stunning album by Daby Balde, a Fula musican whose music features fiddle, accordion and flute alongside kora, acoustic guitar and percussion.