In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine described Youssou Ndour as, "perhaps the most famous singer alive" in Senegal and much of Africa. He found worldwide fame in 1994 with Seven Seconds, his duet with Neneh Cherry, and is responsible for introducing international audiences to mbalax.
Six years after the reggae campaign and his Bob Marley cover on the Dakar-Kingston album, the Prince of the Medina of Dakar has been back in the recording studio and will perform live at Symphony Hall this August.
While he was serving as Minister of Culture and then Tourism in the government of President Macky Sall, he put his artistic activities on hold, but his current status as Minister Adviser to the President has given him more time to explore his creativity.
In Africa, there's a dynamic movement driven by culture. Africa needs a smile on its face and must show its strengths. With his Senegalese audience very much in mind, Youssou Ndour started by publishing a five track EP in Dakar. It immediately rocketed to the top of the iTunes Downloads Chart. The next step will be the world release of Africa Rekk on Jive/Sony Music, announced for this autumn. The album was produced by Youssou's younger brother Prince Ibrahima Ndour and mixed in Paris by Jack Lahana. Its a Pan-African album explains Youssou, the first of its kind since Egypt in 2004, when I showed that Africa was one, from the Cape to Algiers and as far as Cairo.
Africa Rekk is Africa celebrated by Youssou Ndour, with all its modern and traditional compartments. It features Mbalax, the Wolof beat, but as part of a blend: for instance, with rumba and other rhythms. Its an umbilical cord that links all of Africa.