Our program “Baaba Maal: Live in NYC” captures an acoustic live performance from the legendary Senegalese pop star, Baaba Maal. For those looking for more Baaba, Afropop Senior Editor Banning Eyre put together this video playlist of essential songs from his highlight-filled career.
From Baaba’s career-making 1989 release with Mansour Seck, Djam Leelii (Rogue Records). This duo, recorded live here, revealed an amazing capacity for acoustic intimacy and spell-binding vocal prowess.
2. “Wango Arti”
From Wango (Syllart), Baaba’s first international release with his electric band Daande Lenol. An unusual marriage of melodic lyricism and gnarly rhythmic complexity. Try to find the “one” on this track!
From Baaba’s classic 1991 ensemble acoustic release, Baayo (Mango). This session, recorded in Baaba’s Dakar home, became a model for many West African acoustic groups to come.
By 2009, when the album Television (Palm Pictures) appeared, Baaba had done it all. This collaboration with Brazilian Girls was both unexpected and controversial, but the song has an enduring allure, and represents the artist’s willingness to take chances and break new ground.