Daby Balde


Moutarou ‘Daby’ Balde was born on 26 April 1969 in the city of Kolda, Fouladou (an area of the Cassamance region), in south Senegal. Growing up in the Cassamance region, a lush area famous for its deep roots in ancestral values and customs, Daby attended the Koranic School in Kolda. Born into a noble family, Daby’s decision to pursue music was greeted with numerous objections and, in 1987 he left school and decided to go into exile. Following six months in Guinea and six years in the Gambia (where he began learning the guitar), he returned to his hometown in 1994 and became the lead vocalist for the Kolda Regional Orchestra. After performing with them for nine months, he began performing regularly in Dakar and Kolda. Subsequently, he played in a large concert organised by the Belgian NGO Vredensaleiden that led to performances at Flanders Ethno festival and Draunter festival in Belgium. He now lives in a suburb of Dakar, performing weekly at several city venues and every few months in Kolda, at festivals, weddings and cultural events.