A couple of weeks ago we went to an event to celebrate the independence of Senegal and we’ve been so enthusiastic about the atmosphere, the music and the people..that we couldn’t resist to interview the group we liked the most: Abdoulaye Samb
We hope you’ll appreciate this interview as we appreciated him..Enjoy!
1) Why did you choose the music as your main communication tool? Do you think it’s the best one?
When I was growing up and as a young adult, I was listening to a lot of music, all kinds. I couldn’t really understand the lyrics in English but I was really enjoying the melodies and rhythms. I was particularly inspired by Bob Marley, Baba Maal, Tracy Chapman, Pink Floyds, etc… After a while, it felt so natural for me to start reproducing these sounds then eventually to produce my own music.
Yes, definitely, music is the best way to communicate, from heart to heart.
2) I can find the meaning I appreciated more, in the 4th song of your last album: “Wouty” when you said: “go beyond your own borders to explore and discover other places and cultures but never forgetyour roots”. Two concepts I share with you.
3) Why did you decide to live in London? Is this city not too much far away from your traditions? And I think that humanity is much difficulty, are you not scared about that?
I came to London for the 2nd time in 2010 time in 2010 for a tour with a Senegalese band. At first, I hadn’t planned to stay but then as the months went by I met a lot of people who were appreciating my own music. It felt like the right place to stay and re-create my own band and perform my own music. For the first 3 years, I was living with other musicians and people from Senegal and we created a very tight and strong community. Such way of living together allowed me to stay in touch with my traditions, my language and keep positive and happy.
4) In your songs you often talk about respect and friendship, but not many people think like you. Which is your solution?
Carry on singing! Carry on respecting other people around me, be an example for others, pray, follow my religion (Islam) and be at peace with myself.
5) Can we have more information about your genre? Senegal has become popular thanks to Youssou N’Dour and M’balax. Could we call it fusion?
Yes, indeed, my music is a mix of styles of music, it’s a fusion of M’balax, Afro, Latin, Blues.
6) For many of us, Africa is synonymous of sad news, civil wars and poorness. I think that Africa is a great continent, where people are happy about basic things. What do you think about that? Do you think that in the future all the African countries can ever be united forming a growing continent? And what can we do to help?
Yes, I agree, African people tend to have this “joie de vivre”, feeling of happiness although life might be a bit of a struggle. There are tight family bonds, a great sense of solidarity, people helping each other…and a lot of music and dancing to keep happy!
Politicians and business men from Occident should leave Africa alone and stop dividing people.
7) I read about an interpretation of the meaning of Senegal, saying that “we are all on the same ship. I think is the condition being a human, since we are looking for the same things, happiness. Do you hide a secret for being happy?
I am satisfied with what I have and, mainly, I thank God through daily prayers.
8) What is the role of a griot in your culture? Do you think you are one of them?
The traditional role of a griot is to pass on messages to others through singing. I am not from a griot family but nowadays it is not just the griots who can sing.