Baaba Maal (born 12 November 1953) is a Senegalese singer and
guitarist born in Podor, on the
Senegal River. He is well known in
Africa and internationally and is one of Senegal's most famous
musicians. In addition to acoustic guitar, he also plays percussion.
He has released several albums, both for independent and major labels.
In July 2003, he was made a UNDP Youth Emissary.
Maal sings primarily in Pulaar and is the foremost promoter of the
traditions of the Pulaar-speaking people, who live on either side of
Senegal River in the ancient Senegalese kingdom of Futa Tooro.
1 Early life and education
3.2 Import releases
3.3 Contributing artist
5 External links
Early life and education
Maal was expected to follow in his father's profession and become a
fisherman. However, under the influence of his lifelong friend and
family gawlo, blind guitarist Mansour Seck, Maal devoted himself to
learning music from his mother and his school's headmaster. He went on
to study music at the university in
Dakar before leaving for
postgraduate studies on a scholarship at Beaux-Arts in Paris.[citation
After returning from study in Paris, Maal studied traditional music
Mansour Seck and began performing with the band Daande Lenol.
Maal's fusions continued into the next decade with his Firin' in Fouta
(1994) album, which used ragga, salsa and Breton harp music to create
a popular sound that launched the careers of Positive Black Soul, a
group of rappers, and also led to the formation of Afro Celt Sound
System. His fusion tendencies continued on 1998's Nomad Soul, which
Brian Eno as one of seven producers. In addition to his
various solo releases, he contributed to two tracks, "Bushes" and
"Dunya Salam", on the concept album 1 Giant Leap.
In 1998, Maal recorded "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" for the Red Hot
Organization's compilation album Red Hot + Rhapsody: The Gershwin
Groove, a tribute to
George Gershwin which raised money for various
charities devoted to increasing
HIV/AIDS awareness and fighting the
disease. In 2002, Maal again worked with the Red Hot Organization,
recording "No Agreement" alongside Res, Tony Allen, Ray Lema, Positive
Black Soul and
Archie Shepp for the tribute album to Fela Kuti, Red
Hot + Riot: The Music and Spirit of Fela Kuti.
On 7 July 2007, Maal performed at the Live Earth concert,
Maal's album On the Road, a live acoustic album recorded straight from
the mixing boards of his shows over a ten-year period, was released in
2008. A new studio album, Television, was released in 2009.
He appears on two tracks "Hunger" and "Still" on the Black Hawk Down
film soundtrack and performed on the title track of the 2008 video
game Far Cry 2, in addition to helping to create the whole soundtrack
for that game. He played at Bonnaroo and the Sierra Nevada World
Music Festival in 2010.
He appears on a track on the
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly album All of
Maal sang the track for Kerala Tourism's 2010 ad campaign "Your moment
is waiting" with music composed by One Giant Leap.
On 4 May 2013, Maal performed at the 2013 edition of the Harare
International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe.
In 2014, he contributed to the BBC Music's remake of The Beach Boys
song "God Only Knows".
Maal's 11th studio album, The Traveller, recorded with Johan Hugo from
The Very Best and
Winston Marshall (Mumford & Sons), was released
via Palm and Marathon Artists. The lead singles, "Fulani Rock" and
"Gilli Men", received critical acclaim. The Traveller was released
in January 2016, and was accompanied by a UK tour and headlining
Senegal's Festival Blues Du Fleuve. Maal accompanied Mumford &
Sons on their Gentlemen of the Road tour around South
Africa in 2015.
He also released a song and accompanying live performance music video
with Mumford & Sons called "There Will Be Time".
In 1998 he was honoured with a
Prince Claus Award
Prince Claus Award from the Prince
Claus Fund, based in Amsterdam.
He voiced the Wakandan soundtrack of Black Panther for Ludwig
Maal performing at the Opening Plenary at the New Theatre, in March
Passion – Sources
Passion – Sources (compilation) - Real World Records
Djam Leelii (with Mansour Seck) – Mango Records
1991 – Baayo (with Mansour Seck) – Mango
1992 – Lam Toro – Mango
1994 – Wango – Syllart
Firin' in Fouta
Firin' in Fouta – Mango
1995 – Gorel – 4th & Broadway
1997 – Taara – Melodie
1998 – Nomad Soul – Import
1998 – Djam Leelii: The Adventurers – Yoff Productions
2000 – Jombaajo – Sonodisc
2001 – Missing You (Mi Yeewnii) – Palm
2003 – The Best of the Early Years (compilation) – Wrasse
2005 – Palm World Voices:
Baaba Maal (compilation) – Palm
2008 – On The Road (compilation) – Palm
2009 – Television – Palm
2016 – The Traveller – Palm / Marathon Artists
1999 – Unwired: Acoustic Music from Around the World – World Music
2013 – The Rough Guide to the Music of
Senegal – World Music
2016 – Johannesburg w/ Mumford and Sons – Glassnote Entertainment
1999 – Live at the Royal Festival Hall – Palm Pictures
^ Romer, Megan. "
Baaba Maal Profile and Biography - Learn More About
Senegalese African Musician Baaba Maal". Worldmusic.about.com.
Archived from the original on 2015-09-06. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
Baaba Maal - The International Star Of
African-music-safari.com. 2016-01-05. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
^  Archived September 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Launches with God Only Knows, a star-studded film featuring 'The
Impossible Orchestra'". BBC Music. October 7, 2014.
^ Empire, Kitty (17 January 2016). "Baaba Maal: The Traveller review
– where tradition meets Auto-Tune". The Observer. Retrieved 17
^ Honigmann, David (20 November 2015). "Baaba Maal: 'It all started by
the river'". Financial Times. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
^ Perry, Kevin (3 January 2016). "Senegal: a trip to Baaba Maal's
music festival". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
^ "Hear Mumford & Sons' New Collaboration With Baaba Maal, 'There
Will Be Time'". Spin.com. 2016-04-21. Retrieved 2016-06-18.
Baaba Maal – official site
Baaba Maal disc