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Music Podcast: Daby Balde

By Matt Yanchyshyn

Daby Balde is from Senegal, though I have to confess I never heard about him while I lived there. The album’s liner notes claim that he has been “long celebrated at home,” but I’m not so sure he’s super popular locally. This is true for a lot of Senegalese artists, Youssou N’Dour excepted, who produce music that appeals to audiences outside of the country. People like Daby Balde, Cheikh , Pape and Cheikh and others play acoustic mbalax and fula sounds that appeal more to world music enthusiasts in North America and Europe than to hip-hop and pop mbalax-hungry local youth.

Regardless, Daby Balde is a super-talented musician and his debut international release, Introducing Daby Balde, is a great album. He combines acoustic guitar in that West African style I so love with Senegalese Fulani rhythms and vocals, kora and violin. Distinctly West African, almost contemporary Malian sounding, but still really appealing to Western ears.

Yanchyshyn is a correspondent for the Associated Press (AP) in West Africa. He is also a  connoisseur and an expert on music of African origin. He blogs at mattgy.net



Music Podcast:Senegalese Pleasure

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