Thione Seck is a huge star in Senegal, but he isn’t well known globally. I hadn’t heard of him until I stumbled on a FREE MP3 at Calabash, the wonderful world-music site.
Senegal’s signature pop-music style is called “mbalax”... a fusion of traditional drumming, Caribbean grooves, Islamic singing and other elements.
Youssou N’Dour is the most renowned architect of mbalax, but Thione Seck also pioneered the style in the 1970s with his band Raam Daan.
Descended from a long line of Wolof griots, Seck also acknowledges the influence of South Asian music. (Yes, Bollywood films are quite popular in Senegal.)
In fact, Seck’s 2005 CD – “Orientation” – was partially recorded in Madras, India.
Today’s free MP3 is off that album. It’s called “Mouhamadou Bamba.” I am blown away by Seck’s voice on this track. Click here to stream it on my Vox blog.
If you like “Mouhamadou Bamba,” follow this link to Calabash. (You must be registered there to download it.)