Abdou Diop


Line up

  • Abdou Dio (Vocal)
  • Abdoulaye Samb (Acoustic Guitar)
  • Awa Cissokho (Backing Vocal)
  • Barou Sall (Hoddu)
  • Baye Mahanta Diop (Solo Guitar )
  • El Hadj Soumare (Guitar)
  • Ibra Ndir (Calabash)
  • country:
    Senegal
  • region:
    West Africa
  • style(s):
    • Afro
    • Traditional
  • label:
    not signed
  • type:
    Band, Solo
  • gender:
    male
  • instrumentation:
    instrumental, vocal
  • artist submitted by:

Abdou comes from Senegal southern region of Kolda a town at the crossroads of the Mandingo and the Fulani civilisation. Unlike most West African musicians, Abdou does not come from a musical family and started singing at the age of 18 at his high school. He pursued his musical career, against his family wishes, when he joined the army and enrolled to in the music section unbeknownst to his family During his time in the military he would sneak away from the barracks in Dakar and profit from the city's many musical connections.

During this time Abdou who is a Fulani speaker from the south was introduced to the northern Wolof speaking musicians in Dakar. Their more popular Wolof, percussive, musical styles were completely different to Abdou, melodic, 'Buleeya', 'Taayel' and 'Jooka' styles sung in Fulani and Mandinka. Whilst in Dakar Baaba Mal's keyboard player, Hilaire Chaby-Hary introduced Abdou to Baaba Mal. He encouraged Diop to stick to his southern roots and not adapt his style to encompass other musical influences such as the Wolof music of northern Senegal.

Abdou became a polished performer on the club circuit and he caught the attention of Michael Soumah, a famous DJ in Dakar who pushed Diops song "Maaje" which became a radio hit in 1996. Buoyed by this and subsequent success an eponymous album eventually followed in 2006 which sold well in his region. This led to tours France, Belgium, Italy, Sweden and Portugal. One one trip to London in 2007 Diop met Toumani Diabate in London's The Green Note. Toumani applauded Abdous style and songs was going to jam with him on one song but ended up joining Abdou on a number of songs so impressed was Toumani with his voice.

Taking his inspiration from the rich Fuladu culture whilst being open to all kinds of music from surrounding countries (Guinea, Mali, Gambia and Guinea Bissau), Abdou Diop develops in his lyrics such universal themes as peace brotherhood, works, solidarity and love. The melodies are those of wandering shepherds coming from the Futa Toro, in the north of the country and who migrated to the south and from Masina.

Their contact with Mandingo and Diola rhythms gave birth to a specific genre in Fuladu music; which Abdou has cleverly picked and remodelled. He uses traditional instruments like the kora, the khalam (the ancestor of the kora), as well as modern instruments like bass guitar, acoustic guitars. In the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, and Guinea Bissau, Abdou Diop is hailed as the new Senegalese Ali Farka Toure. Abdou Diop works with popular rhythms in south Senegal, like the Joka; the timpo (a rhythm of which wrestlers and fields workers dance to), the Tayel - a women's dance and the Buleya, another dance. The Gaynaako dance relates to the shepherds at the service of his community. His music expresses traditional values, those dear to village people with the motto of work, love and peace. Abdou has become an ambassador of the culture and music of south of Senegal.

Making more connections whilst touring, Diop decided to make a new album; however the musicians he wanted were only available sporadically and needed training in his style of music. Abdou also became seriously ill with malaria and the work stopped making the recording process long. The recording was eventually completed in May 2010 and has been mastered in London in September 2010 with the album "Nootee" ready to be released and tours planned for 2011.

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Abdou Diop

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Abdou Diop

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Fadam





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