Baaba Maal & Friends
I have been wanting to write this post for awhile but for one reason or another the chance always seemed to elude me. Mainly I wanted to make sure I could devote enough time and energy into this post as Baaba Maal proves to be a tremendously interesting artist. So here it goes, a short history of Baaba Maal and where the tracks "Television" hails from:
Born and raised along the Senegal River in Podor, Baaba Maal picked up music at a young age. He received most of his musical education though his school headmaster and mother before enrolling at the University of Dakar and later the Beaux-Arts in Paris. Baaba Maal's path wandered far from his expected path of becoming a fisherman like his father. Maal found much success, becoming one of Senegal's best known musicians while giving back through a variety of charity work. Most interesting to me was the fact that Baaba Maal serves as a youth emissary for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Maal will be playing the Festival Blues du Fleuve this weekend along the Senegal river. The festival uniquely spans the Senegal river incorporating both Senegal and Mauritania into the events. The festival splits between the city of Boghé (Mauritania) and Demet (Senegal). The whole purpose of the three day event is to bridge divides, fostering cross-border unity and the exchange of music, ideas, and culture more generally. It sounds like a fantastic venue. Acts for this year (the seventh year running)include Maal and other notable performers from the region. Another venue standout is fellow Senegalese artist, Duggy Tee. Duggy Tee drives a hard political message with "On n'en Veut Pas" (We don't want it). My translation may be a bit off because it has been awhile since I have taken French but from what I understand of the lyrics, Duggy Tee is fed up with politics and a lack of universal rights. If the lyrics don't the video makes sure you know it is political. Below are some tracks from the Maal and Duggy Tee as well as a Baaba Maal video for "Television".
Baaba Maal - "Television"
Duggy Tee - "On n'en Veut Pas"