Youssou NDOUR - The King of African Pop

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Tuesday September 04, 2018

From Financial Times

Youssou N’Dour, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London ‘” the king of African pop
By: Sam Taylor

‘It’s gonna be hot,’ Le Super √Čtoile de Dakar drummer Babacar Faye warned before the show began. ‘We are here with the king of African pop.’ N’Dour, the band’s leader, earned his crown pioneering mbalax, a fusion of Latin rhythms and traditional Senegalese drumming popularised on Dakar’s dance floors in the 1980s. It was only fitting that those roots were well represented at his Proms debut.

[…] N’Dour performed the poppier side of his repertoire. ’7 Seconds’, a chart-topping duet with Neneh Cherry, had a slinky descending bassline and an affecting harmonised vocal from Cali Kamga. ‘New Africa’ celebrated the continent’s ‘progress and beauty’ with tinkling cymbals and a sunrise-synth glow. Its sparse backing focused the ears on N’Dour’s voice ‘” likened to ‘liquid gold’ by collaborator Peter Gabriel. His upper register soared with crystalline purity.

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