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Baaba Maal – Pre Course Assignment #1

In 1953, Baaba Maal was born in the river valley region of Senegal, in the Fouta town of Podor. He is a singer, guitarist, percussionist, activist, traveler, and much more to many people. As a young boy he loved music, dreamed of becoming a singer, and grew up to study music in both Dakar and Paris. Growing up, he not only noticed the unique combinations he could make between styles of music, but also the limited number of songs sung in Pulaar. Therefore, he sings most of his songs in his native language. Years of traveling, creating, and collaborating have given his music a distinctly unique sound as he combines Fulani music with blues, jazz, and cuban salsa. Recently, he has even collaborated with well known artists such as Mumford & Sons to create his latest album.

Baaba Maal has 9 albums in total, his most recent being called “The Traveller”. This title is very fitting for the life of Baaba Maal. He describes himself as a traveller as well as a musician, and his music certainly takes influence from his journeys around the world. When he speaks, it is clear that he not only travels for music but to better understand the world. He says, “By traveling you discover that humanity is so beautiful: different faces, different cultures, different colours, different sounds. . . When you travel you realize that humanity and the planet is a very big gift . . .This is what I want to celebrate.”

Below is a link to his song Jam Jam from his latest album “The Traveller”: