Hailing from Senegal, Amadou Diagne is a griot, who played percussion with the country's esteemed National Band for many years. His exquisite song writing is delivered with a distinctive voice, accompanied by his bluesy acoustic guitar, traditional drumming and the occasional glittering kora.
Amadou Diagne first caught the attention of World Music Network after winning the 'Battle Of The Bands' competition hosted on our website. His captivating entry 'Senegal', the opening track on this album, combines gently lilting guitar lines with Amadou's distinctive singing voice.
Amadou Diagne was born into a large griot family in Senegal. As part of his entry into the life of a griot, he began to play the drums at the age of 4, and has been passionately drawn towards music ever since. In his twenties he was engaged as a percussionist with the respected Senegalese National Band. During his time with the ensemble, Amadou also immersed himself in the vibrant Dakar music scene, and began to find his own original voice.
Amadou's rhythmic approach is influenced by his background as a percussionist - he can be heard slapping the guitar body and weaving into his music the propulsive rhythms of the Senegalese sabar drums. He also uses his understanding of the kora to weave his melody and guitar lines together in seamless interplay. This can be heard particularly well on 'Beaguele', where the two instruments riff and interlock with each other. The influence of the pentatonic xalam, a stringed lute, is also embedded in his music, infusing it with a brooding bluesy feel, as heard on the track 'Yaro', while the inclusion of a solo bright-toned saxophone on the tracks 'Diamano' and 'Yonbi' reflects Amadou's interest in African jazz.
The track 'Africa Stop War' was written with the conflicts of the Ivory Coast and Somalia in mind. The lyrics are frank: 'I am crying for peace in Africa, no more blood running for war'. Other tracks, such as 'Talibé' and 'Suma Dom' tackle local Senegalese issues and draw inspiration from traditional music.
With his unforced talent, traditional roots, family ties and passion for issues that are pertinent to communities the world over, the future certainly looks bright for Amadou Diagne.
Amadou will also be touring the UK in 2012. Dates to be announced shortly on our website!
Video - Dabakh
'Dabakh' (pronounced Dabagh) is named in praise of Dabakh Malik, a much loved Marabout (Imam) who recently died. An Imam is an Islamic position of leadership in the Mosque and its community. Many singers in Senegal have recorded songs in praise of his preachings of tolerance, respect and non-violence. This collection of musicians include a very young Youssou N'dour. Following in his footsteps, Amadou Diagne's video pays tribute to the great Imam and his life.
Video - Senegal