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Blending African roots and contemporary electronic influences, the Senegalese singer and guitarist is a born musical traveller.
Baaba Maal belongs to the semi-nomadic Fulani people, and, for him, travel and music are inextricable.
He began his journey as a musician with long-time friend Mansour Seck, releasing desert blues classic Djam Leelii in 1989, in the first of many notable collaborations of his career.
More recently, Maal worked on the Black Panther soundtrack with composer Ludwig Göransson, performing the song ‘Wakanda’.
His 2016 album The Traveller opens with the raucous ‘Fulani Rock’, underpinned by dark throbbing drums, intricate guitars and Maal’s distinctive vocal soaring overhead.
In 2013, Maal performed for President Obama on his historic state visit to Senegal.
Maal co-founded our annual Africa Utopia festival in 2012, bringing art and ideas from Africa and the African diaspora to audiences in the UK.
He also worked with Hans Zimmer on the soundtrack to the Ridley Scott film Black Hawk Down, while British folk-rock band Mumford and Sons and poet Lemn Sissay appeared on The Traveller.
Maal is also an activist, and is very clear about his mission: ‘I intend to be the voice for the people in Africa’s rural communities. I want to offer them a chance to be part of the future development of Africa.’
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