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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 Étoile 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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