Baaba Maal’s new album Being is a powerful continuation of his pioneering, transcendent work over the last forty years, blending both the ancient and the modern.
Visionary singer, cultural ambassador, epic storyteller, and Senegal superstar Baaba Maal grew up inspired by indigenous African music, and the American R&B, soul, jazz, reggae and blues it influenced. Born to a family of fishermen, he defied expectation to become a musician, challenging the traditional monopoly the ancient griot caste had on information and music. Since first making albums in the early 1980s he has developed a highly distinctive sound radically fusing traditional African instruments with an increasingly adventurous electronic approach. He has released a series of acclaimed solo albums and recorded with an increasingly varied range of collaborators including Brian Eno, Radiohead producer John Leckie, and Blur’s Damon Albarn.
In 2015, he recorded The Traveller with producer Johan Hugo (The Very Best, Self Esteem) and collaborated with Mumford & Sons, reflecting his passion for blurring diverse musical forms. In 2018 he was featured on the soundtrack of Black Panther and established himself as the Voice of Wakanda in the sequel, 2022's Wakanda Forever. Continuing his exciting partnership with Johan Hugo, Being was recorded in Brooklyn, London, and Senegal and confirms Maal's position as one of the most uniquely compelling musicians in the world.
About Being, Baaba says, "Each song of this album has its own personality, which is something that I always want in a record, songs that all have really strong personality. Because for me, a song is like a person. It has a life, it has a name, it has a character, and it has a position in life. And I think what makes this album so powerful is that it is totally about now, and where I am now, and the dreams I have of the past and the future.”