Month: August 2013

Senegalese Music and Dancing

Hi Blogworld! Sorry for the absence, I hope to be more dedicated in my updating fromhereonout.

It’s a great opportunity to blog because it is RAINING at this moment! It also happens to be the last day of Ramadan, and you know what that means – Party tomorrow KORITE! Updates and pictures to come.

Until then, I want to talk about Senegalese tunes and moves.

Senegalese people LOVE dancing,  Different ethnic groups have their own styles, but the arena is a drum circle Sabaar that can last until the wee hours of the morning. (Don’t forget to pack your earplugs). I remember the third or fourth day I was in Senegal, we had a drum circle at the training center. At first, I thought people were tricking us. Is that really dancing here!? I asked myself. Once I realized arm-flailing was no joke, I quickly fell in love. Here’s a decent example I found on Youtube, though our Sabaars in Kebemer are more of the sand-floor, basic tent or open sky variety.

Traditional Senegalese drumming married Western pop melodies somewhere along the way and begat Mbalax, a glorious, glorious genre. Here are some of the most popular artists and some of the songs I most frequently hear playing from people’s cell phones, radios, music video TV channels, party speakers, and so on.

Titi in Jigeen Feem

Babacar Seck

Pape Diouf in DIOFIOR

Youssou Ndour  in Xale Bi


Papa Ndiaye Guewel in Ratale – more traditional, less pop

And then, no blogpost about Senegalese music would be complete without a shout out to P Square and Akon (Senegalese!) and Shakira. In my 10 months here, I have heard these songs more than I’ve ever heard anything, I do believe. Oh, and Rihanna. Just Rihanna.